Saturday, October 07, 2006

Reactivating Inactive Members

I have some free advice for TSCC on reactivating inactive members.
  1. Find out why people really go inactive instead of believing your own propaganda.
  2. Stop blaming the inactives and look at yourself.
  3. Address the problems that you find.
A thread on RfM refers to couple missionaries being given the impossible task of loving inactives back into the church. This seems to presume that the problem is with the inactives or perhaps the members. It seems to ignore that maybe, just maybe, the problem is that being active in the church is very unappealing for a large number of reasons.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Develop a trained, professional, paid clergy whose full-time task is to provide competent, compassionate leadership and counseling.
  2. If members must give the sermons, let them choose their own topics.
  3. Dump the correlated class curriculum or relax the requirements so that intelligent teachers can develop their own lessons that are adapted to the needs and interests of their students.
  4. Eliminate failed programs such as home teaching that just create work and don't provide results.
  5. Do true community service instead.
  6. Provide support for critical member needs such as sex education, family planning, parenting classes, substance abuse programs, etc.
  7. Stop worrying about dogma and start worrying about helping your members be happy fulfilled people. First step: actually talk to them and listen to their input.
  8. Address the doctrinal and historical problems of the church instead of hiding them and lying about them. My list is right here on my blog. Whole web sites are devoted to former and inactive members and their reasons for disbelief so it's not hard to come up with a list. But I think I know why there is no official, church sanctioned answers to those questions.
Of course, I have no fear of helping the church out here. All of the above suggestions run counter to their core values and culture and will never be considered, much less implemented. And they'll continue to wonder why they are having such difficulty. The short answer: because church activity sucks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just leave them alone.