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Time for the 2nd Half of Meet The Need’s Mission!

Time for the 2nd Half of Meet The Need’s Mission!

First Blog Post Pic (600 wide)

My story…

Meet The Need began fifteen years ago, during a long drive back home to Atlanta from a vacation in Jacksonville. Weeks earlier, I had asked my church where I could serve somewhere in the community. I told them my passions and interests, hoping for direction. I was surprised but they didn’t have an answer for me. As I was driving, I was thinking about how the corporations I consulted all had those types of answers – they knew where to direct people when they wanted to buy something.

It didn’t take much of an understanding of church history to know that the Church had been the food bank and homeless shelter for its first 1900 years. How could churches, even one as large as mine, be so disconnected from the needs in the community? Didn’t Jesus and the early church model the power of demonstrating love and compassion in sharing the gospel? People don’t care what you know until they know that you care, right?

The 2nd half of MTN’s mission…

To mobilize and equip the Church to lead millions more to Christ
by following Jesus’ example of meeting those in need exactly where they are.

That was the mission statement we came up with after I got back to Atlanta that day. And it remains the same today. We quickly learned back then that even if churches wanted to engage much more in the community (and we hoped they did), they lacked any modern day tools to help them share local needs with members. So we spent years and millions designing, building, testing and rolling out systems that empower churches and charities to show needs to those who could help. Meet The Need expanded nationwide and has had tremendous success in many cities.

However, #1 Equip – building systems that enable churches to do more – wasn’t our entire mission. Our mission statement also calls MTN to #2 Mobilize – encouraging churches to follow Jesus’ example. That 2nd part of our mission is where MTN plans to spend much of our time going forward. The systems are built, powerful and have recently been made much more accessible, simple to use and state-of-the-art. Now it’s time to focus more of MTN’s energies on mobilizing and encouraging because…

There’s a problem….

We developed MTN’s systems based on an assumption – churches would move beyond seasonal events if MTN could be the first to bring the tools they need to manage and communicate needs on a year-round basis. For many churches that has been the case. However, with or without MTN, the general trend among churches in America today is not toward unleashing members into year-round ministry. Systems don’t change heart and minds. We continue to see far too many unmet needs in communities across the country. The greatest source of help and hope available to families in need resides, largely idle, in the pews of America’s churches.

As many of you know, my background was in management consulting – solving strategic problems for Fortune 1000 companies. So for the past couple years I’ve put my management consulting hat on and done extensive research, trying to find out why:

  • the role of the Church in communities across America has fundamentally changed
  • American church growth models encourage internal, not external, focus
  • the Church (overall) in the U.S. is not succeeding on any significant metric – growth, impact, influence, or perception

We’ve made a huge discovery…

After all that digging, it turns out that organizational behavior best practices and principles, which align very well with Biblical principles, held the key all along to why the Church is struggling today. There is a flawed assumption underlying most decisions churches make. The modern American church is violating one of the most basic tenants of all successful organizations, including the early Church. Making that groundbreaking discovery would not have been possible without extensive experience in management consulting followed by years of work with churches of all sizes. Little did I know the Lord was preparing me all that time to understand and unveil the root cause issue behind the Church’s decline.

Going forward, we will dedicate this blog primarily to exploring and unveiling those findings in hopes of fulfilling the 2nd aspect of our mission – to Mobilize the Church.  We look forward to sharing these concepts with you over the coming weeks and months.

It’s your turn…

Why do you think the Church in America is losing ground in terms of growth, perception, impact and influence? In other words, with 93% of churches today stagnant or in decline, what changes do you think they should make to turn the tide?

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9 Responses

  1. I met with Peter Swanson today. I would like to use MTN as THE resource for my clients to use once they have gone through our program that strategically aligns their giving to their Mission. It is my vision God is using Iconnectu to speak directly to the corporations to Meet The Needs of the Church. Let’s connect 941-400-4164.

    Mission
    The mission of Iconnectu is to connect business solutions to business needs. Small businesses struggle every day for the power to compete fairly with the large box stores. By spotlighting the benefits they bring to the table, Iconnectu evens the playing field and brings these unique solutions to market. We teach the marketplace the benefits of incorporating a customized giving model into all they do, so the world will benefit from every product, transaction, and purchase globally. In doing so, all of us can make for a better world with the confidence our resources are going to reputable and needing not-for-profits.

    Tell us EXACTLY what YOU need!

  2. I Pastor a small church here in Oklahoma City, When I first took over the church there was only five members there. We grew to about 60 and now have drop back down to around 25. I have been asking myself this same question and the answer I came up with is we have stopped evangelizing and spreading the word.

    Were in a revival mood right now and will start evangelizing by the end of the month and will let you know how it goes.

    1. Terry – How have your efforts to increase the level of evangelism at your church been going? Interested to hear if you’re already seeing folks come to Christ as a result of your efforts – and how it has impacted your church and your community. My only advice around evangelism is to remind your members that Jesus modeled healing and feeding (love/compassion/service) before telling them who He is – and we can’t outpreach Jesus so let’s follow his model.

  3. Jim, I am eager to hear more of what the Lord has revealed to you on this journey or research and “reading” time times.
    Sadly it seems we have forgotten how to love our neighbors. Baby Boomers, especially, are dizzied by the radical change from a homogeneous cultural experience to a widely diverse community.
    Keep asking hard questions … and giving good answers!

  4. I am encouraged by your desire to serve and bring the glory of God to earth so that many can be saved. The world is full of hurting people with various types and varying degrees of entanglements , detrimental to their soul’s. Jesus is the answer and we who know Him can illuminate that.
    I had a a rocky upbringing , in and out of foster care my whole life. One day I met God and He became very real in my life on a personal and daily level . He has been loving and healing me ever since. I can not imagine life without Him. Almost more unimaginable is to be silent about this saving grace provided by a loving God. My testimony and passion for the lost is the “least ” that I can do considering the price Jesus paid for my eternal salvation and my current daily liberation.
    The problems that I see with the sheep are as follows: 1. comfort in staying in the pews, 2. unaware that they are gifted by God to minister in a unique way, 3. Unwillingness to get their hands dirty , 4. Belief that the youth are too young to have an impact , 5. An Idea that after a certain age the elderly are now living for themselves and the fruits of their hard earned retirement – they have some how paid their dues and no longer are required to be the light or salt in an active fashion, 6. People want to throw money into something or at something and someone else can be the walking feet and helping hands of Jesus , 7. Other sheep are held captive in the catch 22 that is ongoing bible study classes that forever figuratively speak of ministry but never quite get to it! And on and on.
    I believe another real problem is those who have grown up in the church around believers and church their whole life have not yet had the opportunity to make this Christ relationship personal quite yet. Shy a major tragedy or hard upbringing , complacency can shield a relational revelation for sheep. In short , they don’t know how much they need Him.
    Those of us who have been saved from much and been cleansed from much more worldly muck and mire are quite aware of how much we need Him. We can’t help but burn with gratitude and be set on fire with a mission to share this Savior and the liberty and love He provides. Real relationship with Him vs. learned rote church behavior is more difficult to be snuffed out by complacent placement in a church pew. This is not because of anything that the saved is doing but completely by the love inside us that He feeds and flames with His Holy Spirit.
    I for example know the bumpy dead end road that I take my life down when the reigns are in my hands. I am quite aware how much I have crapped out my life in every possible way ; emotionally , financially, spiritually, socially, psychologically, physically, etc. Jesus is the only one true answer to every single problem that I have ever had. He maintains me through it all. So its impossible to keep Him hidden when I know how much the world aches for Him.
    That’s my two cents in a nutshell.

    1. There is so much powerful truth in what you’ve written. Thank you for honestly and openly sharing your personal experiences. You and I are seeing many of the same issues. Namely, that the grace of God through Jesus Christ should awaken in us a desire to do much more than be casual church attenders. Much of what I try to communicate through this blog is that the onus is also on church leaders to challenge members/attenders to BE the church – to live a life on fire for Christ and for the lost. However, far too many churches are hesitant to challenge for fear folk may head to the church down the road that still “caters” to its members/attenders.

  5. HYPOCRITICAL, you are so coc.art……r.Mett McDevitt was sitting on the board when the district took Halloween and Christmas terms, treats and fun from our schools leaving our children asking why we can’t parade around outside in our costumers, why we can’t have candy bags and classroom room parties. Now Matt has the audacity to condemn JoAnn for her beliefs, well let’s see if Pastor Marks condemns Matt for not being a Christian and a liar….Get real!!!

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The 5 Steps to Revitalize Your Church

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Root cause for the Church's decline & its path to Revitalization

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