Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Most church members take a lot of pride in their church. They participate and are encouraged by how the church impacts their lives.
And if you asked each of these members to describe their church, they would probably come up with a one-word description.
For instance, a church member might describe their church as inspirational, inclusive, or fun.
Have you ever thought that when we hear a descriptive word, that word often translates into a mental picture, stereotype, or assumption?
Have you ever thought about what adjectives describe your church?
How We Use Adjectives
When we describe experiences, we typically use adjectives to paint a picture to clarify what we are trying to communicate.
And through this, we influence how the person on the receiving end responds to the information.
For instance, if we describe a vacation as relaxing, we send the message that it was restful.
Or if we describe our job as stressful, we communicate that it is taking its toll on us.
Adjectives are used with intention and purpose.
Churches Have Labels
Like it or not, churches are labeled many different things, and the label your church carries largely depends on the leadership and the culture it creates.
When I was looking for a home church a few years ago, I went on a quest to find a community of believers who represented my faith and behaviors that lined up with that belief system.
Through this process, I learned more about what I am looking for in a church and have come up with ten adjectives that describe a church that is doing things in a way that makes me want to attend.
A dynamic church is full of energy and has a lot of activity.
You watch their videos or read their bulletin and can see everything they are involved in.
A church that is inviting is enticing and draws participation. It maintains an environment that others want to be part of and has a culture of inclusion.
The facility is clean, orderly, and purposeful in its layout and design.
Its communications are clear, well-prepared, and easy to understand.
For instance, a promotional video about the upcoming youth retreat makes parents and youth alike interested in participating.
An intentional church does things on purpose, makes a plan, and implements that plan.
Everything is done for a reason and supports the strategy and mission of the church.
For example, when a church develops a plan to train volunteers, that is an intentional way of developing volunteers to not only do the work, but to demonstrate desired behaviors.
People join churches for the community, and interactive churches encourage relationships and fellowship with other members.
This can be done by providing opportunities for members to participate in small groups, church events designed for fellowship, or through organized outreach to the community.
A church that is welcoming greets visitors in a kind and courteous manner.
They make guests feel welcome and do their best to make visitors feel part of the community.
For example, a well-designed Greeter program can help visitors know where to go and how to navigate the church facility, what opportunities there are to participate in, or the many programs for children and youth.
Relevant churches are in tune with the issues and events of the world and provide an environment and teaching that is pertinent to our day-to-day lives.
It influences members to develop Christian values that help them respond to the issues of life.
For example, churches that offer programs to support the very real issues of divorce or child-rearing are relevant to our everyday lives. These programs share Biblical principles that can help members apply these principles to life’s struggles.
Churches should have great systems for educating members. This might include what they believe, why they believe it, and how to apply those beliefs to everyday life.
Biblical principles are so applicable to every facet of our lives that it is vital to have this kind of thorough and structured teaching for church members.
I believe life should be fun, and the church should know how to laugh and play.
Creating a fun environment for members makes them want to engage more and participate in the mission of the church.
A proactive church is prepared for the unexpected and anticipates unforeseen events.
They do a good job of emergency planning. This preparation helps the church proactively respond to emergencies rather than being caught off guard by a sudden crisis.
For instance, if your church is in an area that is prone to hurricanes, an emergency plan would provide the necessary steps to take should the church experience a natural disaster.
Churches are stewards of the resources that God has given them – which are people, time, and money.
A responsible church is a good steward of those resources and is accountable for properly managing God’s blessings.
This financial responsibility includes developing a church budget and overseeing the proper use of financial assets.
Church Leadership Influences Labels
All churches are labeled with adjectives, and as leaders, we can influence those labels through example, teaching, and the development of a culture that reflects God and His Holy Word!
What adjectives do you use to describe your church?
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