This is a great reminder for pastors and church leaders, so I brought this post back from the archives. A few years ago, my friend, Broadway actor Fred Applegate, sent me these sure-fire tips for REVERSE church growth after traveling around the country and visiting quite a few houses of worship:
1. Be patiently condescending to everyone.
2. Listen to people while giving them the clear impression that you are being generous with your time.
3. Greet people after the service by shaking their hand while looking at the person behind them. (A gentle “keep moving” push on the elbow gives everyone a warm feeling as well.)
4. Never treat anyone as a peer, unless they have a lot of money.
5. Make sure everyone knows that the most important ministry is giving money to the church.
6. Create an environment in which social justice work and service to the needy are tolerated as long as they don’t become too disruptive to the real mission of the church, which is: getting bigger and more self-important.
7. And remember: A church can’t grow without lots of money: theology can be tidied up later, after the pastors media room is completed.