Pastor Raymond was a man of God and his congregation knew him to preach the word every Sunday. Each time that he preached, his parishioners got something out of his preaching. He was a third-generation pastor. His daddy was a preacher with many of the same principles that he had as well. Over the years, Pastor Raymond began losing parishioners. His congregation consisted mostly of older parishioners in their late 60’s and early 70’s. He wanted to reach out more to youth, but they never seemed to come to church. Pastor Raymond began praying to God and asking why his church was slowly shrinking.
Each time that Raymond kneeled on one knee, he received a word from the Lord. The Lord was trying to inform him that he was running his church like he was still living in the 1980’s. Nothing ever changed in the church since the 1950’s. Pastor Raymond was afraid to make any changes because he didn’t like the new world of modern day technology. He had three children at home that never left their Ipads or cell phones. He was born in 1975 and grew up in the 80’s where people had a fascination for Michael Jackson and Boy George. How could he see things differently as a modern-day pastor of the 21st century?
Pastor Raymond constantly heard from his children that church was boring and that attending service was boring, dreadful and painful. Pastor Raymond hated hearing these words. However, his children were speaking the truth to him. Pastor Raymond was realizing that he was stuck in the 80’s.
In the 1980’s, his church was packed with families. He was an assistant pastor to his father back in those days. His daddy used to tell him that when he passed on, he would be the new pastor.
When you sat in his father’s church in the 1980’s, kids weren’t bringing in cell phones and Ipads. They simply didn’t exist. Only wealthy pastors had television ministries because the internet did not exist yet. Pastor Raymond was realizing that he was afraid of allowing technology into his church. He felt that by doing so, it was allowing the devil to come in.
He began having meetings with his assistant pastor. Pastor Raymond was trying to come up with a plan to expand his ministry to youth and young adults. He decided that it was best to start interviewing youth in the neighborhood about what they wanted to see in today’s modern-day churches.
Most of the youth said that they wanted to have a website in which they could watch the pastor speak whether they were able to attend church service that week or not. They wanted to be able to download the pastor’s sermons when they felt like they could do so. Pastor Raymond realized that a lot of people work different hours and schedules. Youth today have a lot more competition for jobs and can’t always attend church service on a regular basis. However, they wanted to hear what their pastor had to say. The youth also said that they needed to have sermons that could reach their hearts. They wanted to have a message in which they could relate to. Pastor Raymond realized that his weekly sermons were so bible based, that he couldn’t reach the youth. This meant that instead of sounding to “preachy”, he would now have to break it down to a much younger audience. Pastor Raymond knew that his older parishioners loved the preachy part of his message. He decided to break it down and have two church services on Sunday instead of one.
Pastor Raymond hired a technology professional that could broadcast his service live on his website as he was preaching on Sunday morning. His website began receiving live hits as he was speaking. He put a donation on the website and shockingly, people began donating to him as he preached. Pastor Raymond realized that his ministry was not only in church pews anymore. In fact, people were watching his sermons from different states. He realized that it was time for him to do things differently.
Today, pastor Raymond receives over 200,000 hits to his website each month. He ministers to thousands of people each year without even knowing who he is ministering to. The ministry of Pastor Raymond began to grow as he began to change his thinking. Finding ways that expand your ministry can make a direct impact on your message. Are you a minister that is stuck in the past? If so, sit down with someone born after 1990 and ask them what they want to see in their church service. You may be shocked to find out that more answers are out there than you ever could have imagined.