I mentioned in my post on Trust that I am working with my parish council on recasting our vision. Like most things we are in a rut and need a little spark to get us moving again. Orthodoxy is this funny thing. During the Divine Liturgy we exclaim that we have found the true faith, but we really don’t want to tell anyone about it. Orthodox as a general rule are not good at evangelism. My feeling is this has to do with the fact that for years we had an endless supply of people coming from the Mother land and filling our churches. Well my church is 85 years old this year and no one is coming here from Romania or any other “traditional” Orthodox country. So what do we do.

Some of you who read this blog comment to me here or on facebook when I post something from Rick Warren or the other Evangelicals I read or listen too that we should not be listening to these folks. Well excuse me but I have never seen an Orthodox Church in the US with 10,000 people in it on a Sunday morning! I believe there are things we can learn from everyone. We are all in this ministry thing together and we can all learn lessons from others doing ministry.

I have been listening to this podcast from Andy Stanley. It is a podcast about leadership more specifically church leadership. Andy is the pastor of a large Evangelical Church in fact I think they have three churches and several church plants. He gives very piratical advice on how to lead your organization be it church or business. Yesterday whilst listening he said the following, “If you want to reach people no one else is reaching, then you have to do things no one else is doing!” Someone say AMEN!

Recently I read a survey that stated that less than 18% of people in the US attend church on Sunday. Okay using my town as an example, we have about 17,000 people here. 18% of that is 3,060 which means that 13,940 are home on Sunday morning. That is here in my town. Do the math and see what you come up with.

As Orthodox I think we think all we have to do is open the door of the church and people are going to flock in. Well I look out at the same faces each week and have not seen many new returning faces for a long time. So what is a priest to do? How do we get more folks into the church?

We need to take church where the people are. We, the clergy need to be seen in the community and need to be seen involved in the community. We need to train our folks to talk about their faith and yes invite people to come to church. If you ask any Evangelical pastor how to get people in the church they will tell you personal invitation is the best advertisement. That’s the secret we need our people to get excited about their church.

I am reading the Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren. He asks a question in the book about people asking folks to come to church. The question is, if people are not asking people to come to their church, what does that say about the church? Why are we not asking people to come to church? What is it about your church that stops you from asking people?

So back to the quote from Andy Stanley. What is it that no one else is doing? Well it will be different for each church. We need to find that one thing that will reach people, but the bug thing we need to do is pray. Pray for those people that God will send to your community. And we need to be open to what God is asking us to do with HIS church! That’s right, the church is not ours it is God’s. Let Him drive for awhile and see where He takes you. TRUST!


  1. There are various things a priest and his parishioners can do to get people to attend church services.

    For example, the Church could have a discussion on a current religious topic of interest one evening a week, and open up this discussion, along with refreshments, to the public. A by-product of this discussion would be for the priest to emphasize the importance of attending Sunday Church services, and to tell the attendants of this discussion that they are "more than welcome" to attend them. Such a discussion would have to be disseminated in local newspapers, radio stations, etc. to attract attendants.

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