December 8, 2006

Does More Church Activity Equal Life Transformation?


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Joe Schimmels, the lead pastor of Blue Sky Church in Loveland, Colorado was recently listening to George Barna speak. He relayed this:

"As I sat hearing him speak he said, ‘Our research shows that transformation does not occur in the church.’ In context, he was referring to all of our events, programs and activities."

What a challenge! In our desire to help people become fully-devoted followers of Christ, we tend to think we need to encourage people to experience a ministry program, retreat or class at the church, and yet research is showing those activities don’t lead to transformation. Barna is focusing his attention more on home church/group experiences. Again, in my mind, this suggests that relational connection must be the key ingredient. The problem, of course, is that encouraging people to step into those types of relationships is much harder than just inviting people to show up for an event at the church.

Is anyone else frustrated by realities like this? I desperately want people to experience life transformation. I want people to pursue Jesus and be radically committed to him. Yet, when we try to create experiences at the church to help people along that path, the research shows it’s not going to help. Argh! Frustrating!

Why can’t people be transformed using methods that work best for me? Life would be so much easier.

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. Started in 2009, The Unstuck Group has served 500 churches throughout the United States and several countries around the world. Previously, Tony served on the senior leadership teams of three rapidly growing churches including NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has five published books including, The Unstuck Church, and, with Amy Anderson, he hosts The Unstuck Church Podcast which has thousands of listeners each month.

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