The rise of Charismatic Churches is hard to deny. In a world where the Catholic church continues to bleed more and more power, this new upstart has gone from nothing to containing almost a quarter of all Christians within 25 years. Your church may not need to follow everything they do, but there are some lessons to be learned from these enterprising upstarts.
1. They have embraced the internet
Where a person who is first looking to visit your church isn’t at the front door. They have undoubtedly seen your website. They have looked at your layout, the content, and your social media and already garnered an impression of you. That first impression is as essential as ever. Today that first impression is happening online.
These churches don’t have websites that look like they are from 2005. They produce engaging content and keep everything up to date. Everything you would need to know is right at your fingertips.
2. People want more sooner
These churches are adapting with people who are wanting to see what church is about. They have already googled many of their big questions and are now looking to experience what they have been reading about.
This means that people are looking for more when they first walk in your door. They are more willing to join in the community faster and start participating. There will always be those who need to sit towards the back and drink in the experience, but the transition towards a fully active member is accelerated.
3. They deal with transformation.
We know where to get information. Information is all around us, and there isn’t anything you can tell someone that a google search can’t. Information is overwhelming us. We are drowning in information. More facts aren’t what we need.
People today are looking to have real experiences with God. They are looking to change themselves through these experiences and their growing relationship with God.
4. They give the audience the chance to transcend
Modern churchgoers are looking for an authentic experience, deep feelings of connection and a real community to become a part of. Charismatic churches are embracing these desires.
They are giving people what they want, which is an engaging experience with the lord. They are appealing to the heart more than the head and building relationships that have meaning.
People want to be offered something bigger than themselves. They want to be humbled by the power of God, and they are flocking to churches that cater to these needs.
5. They go beyond the online experience
You can deny people access to your teachings online, forcing them to see you in person if they want access to your church, but that kind of thinking isn’t geared towards bringing new lambs into the fold. You are instead focused on maintaining the flock you already have.
The trend today is to offer as much as possible online. Even the sermons themselves are online, but they are geared towards making people want more. Seeing people connect on the screen increases their desire to have the real thing. The churches that are thriving aren’t denying access to their content online. They are offering a glimpse of the services that they offer that can only be had in person. They are showing the connections being formed and focus their efforts on dynamic sermons that provide more value than can be downloaded.
6. They preach with passion
Passion is what people are craving. The super polished offerings of many churches may wow spectators, but they aren’t tugging at the heartstrings like people want them to.
What’s standing in the way of reaching more people isn’t sound equipment or creative lighting. It’s a passion. The connection is what matters for people right now. The substance is what is compelling people to join in on the action. Once you have that down, adding a little flash won’t hurt, but it’s the fire in your heart that reaches people in the authentic way they are looking for.
7. They remember to keep everything in balance
As with everything in life, there needs to be a balance. The kind of church that will reach the most people and keep their attention in the long term is one that emphasized balance in their sermons.
The balance between the emotion of preaching and the logic of teaching is what will win hearts and minds. Falling too far towards emotion will bring more experiences to people, but without the solid ground of logic to stand on. Leaning too far towards teaching leads to information overload and a lack of experiences unique to in-person visits to the church. That is one problem facing institutions like the catholic church.
8. They remember who they want to reach
These churches are embracing new members with open arms. They aren’t focused on the inclusion of their current members to the exclusion on anyone new. They focus on making every single aspect of the experiences they offer welcoming to anyone with interest in interacting with the Lord.
9. It’s a variety show
As the experiences available at church grow and expand, so do the activities available on a Sunday. The churches that are growing are the ones that offer more to their members than three songs and a message.
These churches are expanding to include that sense of belonging in their services, moving quickly past anonymity. Service targets more emotions. More thought is put into the service to engage people on different levels. Individual prayer is welcome, and more room is being made in services to include it.
By focusing on touching the soul in myriad ways, charismatic churches are reaching more and more people.
10. They are different, but not weird
Just a balance needs to be struck between the emotion of preaching and the logic of the teaching. There is also a balance struck between being familiar and bland and pushing the envelope too far towards eccentric and weird.
Effective preachers can strike that balance so that people are still actively engaged and listening to the vital wisdom they are there to absorb without going overboard. They don’t need to be weird to be heard, and they know it. Long-time members might indulge their preacher a little and give them more slack, but newcomers are more easily put off. Keeping everything in check ensures that the environment is friendly.