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Larry Osborne on closing the back door

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Basically, what we’ve done is to take most of the energy and resources we would have spent on special programming and front-door events and instead poured it into making our church more welcoming and sticky.

Rather than trying to have the most creative sermon series, the hippest worship, the best dog and pony show on Easter or Christmas Eve, we’ve simply tried to serve our people so well that they’ll want to bring their friends, without needing to be asked to do so.

Everything we do is aimed at helping the Christians we already have grow stronger in Christ. But everything is done in such a way that their non-Christian friends will understand all that we’re saying and doing. Bottom line: We’ve tried to create a perfect storm for come-and-see evangelism while velcroing newcomers for long-term spiritual growth.

 I’m not saying we never have people walk out the back door. Of course we do. And sometimes it’s more than a few—usually over some great theological issue like allowing coffee in the sanctuary, changing the worship style, or using the subwoofers at full capacity.

But historically our back door has been so small that still today if someone leaves for reasons other than moving, it will usually be on the agenda in one of our senior staff meetings. -- Sticky Church (Larry Osborne)