Rebuilding the Substance of the Church – Marketing and Recruiting

This is  a blog commentary on the first of seven elements that serves to build and develop a body of christleadership base in a living and active church. It is an expansion of the formula found in my book, “More Than Volunteers.” 

You need people to build the living church. Cultivating a group of people who will band together at any cost to do anything God is calling them to do is a formative task. There is always a lot of banter going around about capital. We in the United States are a capitalistic society. Everyone thinks capital is about money and wealth but true wealth is not about money. Human capital is about the human heart and what the people with heart bring to the table. Human capital is made up of the sum total of what every person has to contribute to the whole of productivity in the world. It is critical to preserve freedom so that individuals can make their own decisions related to how their lives shall contribute.

The ten commandments are directed to the actions of the human heart. “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart.” The beatitudes are about the actions of the human heart. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 “As a person thinks in their heart so they are.” Proverbs 23:7  The greatest crisis in the world today is the problem with the human heart.

Someone once called me on the phone and gave me this advice. “Don’t hire anyone who is not willing to die for the same things you are willing to die for.” That is tough but real solid advice. At the heart of this advice is the value of capital, human capital.

God is calling all of us to love what he has created us to be. God has outlined through natural and special revelation just how all of his created resources should be used to bring the best results to life’s productive end. “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

Psalm 1:1-3 gives us insight on this. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a  tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”

As you look around, your recruiting base of people live philosophically in a world that humanizes God, deifies man, and minimizes sin.  At the same time many people are searching for a more fulfilling life. If we reflect on the world at the time of Christ, we would probably observe it to be more localized in its thinking. Limited communication brought its own set of results, yet Judas, one of Jesus’s disciples, was the most cultured and worldly-wise of all the disciples. No matter what his motive might have been it was locked into humanistic solutions bound to the societal thinking at hand.

The self-centered heart is a heart bent on having its own way. It is for this reason, as you select those who join you on the journey, that your inner circle must be made up of people who are ready to die for the same things for which you are ready to die.

You may raise the question and say even Jesus had his Judas. He certainly did. Even in the inner circle of Jesus’ closest disciples he shared a great example for us of what not to do. There is every indication that Jesus knew just what he was doing. He picked Judas knowing the end result of a person who was caught up in culture, money, and self preservation. Ultimately Judas engineered his own destruction. Psalm 1:4-6 continues to tell us about the wicked: “Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous but the way of the wicked will perish.”

When we go out and recruit people to join us in the journey of Christian service there are a number of categories to consider. There are those who have already said yes to Jesus and have, to the best of their knowledge and experience, laid their lives on the altar in love for what God says love is all about. Then there are those who are searching for answers and want to join in the journey that we are taking.

There are people who join the journey as a support system so that they might have a cover of legitimacy for other things they might be doing wrong.  There are those who see the church as a place where they can be accepted and find a power base they can not find in the world systems. There are those who just want the social benefits of being identified with a people who can have fun together.

If what we are doing is in accordance with God’s will, he will use our opportunities for invitation to bring  the right people to join us. Jesus had His inner circle, just as we have an inner circle of those who follow our lead. There are also those who are in our area of involvement and those who are in the fringe area of our influence.

We recruit first from our inner circle. Then we cultivate new people from within our sphere of influence. The third area is to establish great lines of communication with our fringe area of friends.  God is already preparing hearts for the next wave of the presence of his power.

The battle for every solution is already preceded by God leading the way because the battle is the Lord’s. Learning to lead always requires the cultivation of relationships. We must learn when to lay hands on people to join with us in any endeavor. “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep your self pure.”  1 Timothy 5:22

In marketing or recruiting you are following the Lord’s leading. The Holy Spirit is always going ahead of you preparing the hearts of people for your engagement with them as friends and fellow participants in His service. There are people who have never yet considered seeking God’s call. Even now God is wooing people to join the ranks of the faithful.

The decision for redemption might be ahead for them, so be mindful that “winning people is like growing strawberries.” You go through life shining into people’s lives and when it is time for them to make a decision as to whom they will serve, you enlist (pick)  them and nurture them to be used in accordance with God’s call for their lives. The Bible talks about the elect being selected by God for his purposes.

Marketing is mostly a secular term. It is used to designate how a company is going to get the consumer to buy and use their products.

Recruiting is related to searching for those who can and will give themselves to the same values and purposes in productivity that you are promoting in a responsible way. Presence, principles, purpose, potential for growth, and performance are all part of selecting who might join the ranks of your effort.

In my book “More Than Volunteers” I use a big box, small box illustration. Before a commitment is made to anything a person has two boxes in their head. One is a big box and in it is the price that is to be paid for making that decision. The other is a small box and in that box is the value that is gained when the decision is made. A sale or commitment is made when a person moves the value to the big box and the price to the small one. Your life of recruitment is helping people to see the value of this challenging commitment.  Work to create a climate for the Holy Spirit to move “value” to a greater importance than the “price” in a person’s life.

Let me close this blog with Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

The full impact of these two verses on marketing and recruitment requires that we seek out those who have committed their lives to the living Christ and the fulfillment of His commission to the world. It is out of this group that we find reliable and responsible servants to reach out to all people no matter where or what their station in life might be, challenging them with the potential God has for their lives.

To learn more, pick up your copy of “More than Volunteers” on Amazon.com

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