We recently got one of those 4D utltra sounds from our daughter who is expecting. Its pretty cool – you can see what the baby looks like in sort of a 3D image (I dont know why they call them 4D). Anyway when you are planting a church you need to understand the 4D people you will attract because it will determie what your church looks like in the future
Disgruntled, Dysfunctional, Disenchanted, and Disenfranchised Church People
How you deal with these people could make or break your church.
Disgruntled people: These people were mad at their old church. Someone pissed them off, didn’t meet their needs, didn’t come to the hospital, didn’t send a birthday card, spent money they didn’t approve of. Something like that. They got mad and left. Be VERY careful and wary of these people because guess what? They will leave you the exact same way. And it will not be pretty. It doesn’t matter that your church is cool and they seem to fit in and they are on fire for your mission. They have left every church they were part of angry – and you are next in line. Do NOT give into the temptation to plug them in to ministry where they have influence. Let them sit, let them soak – see if they sour. Perhaps your church can help them heal – but they also have to learn that part of the problem (maybe all of the problem) is them.
Dysfunctional People: This is a broad category and the truth is we are all somewhat dysfunctional. But a new church plant is a target for people with problems and baggage and in a small group they find more attention and in a new group they find more people to dump their baggage on. When they gain influence in the church the dysfunction spreads and the church suffers.
Disenchanted people: These people gave up for some reason. What they were doing lost its luster. They may come to your church hoping to rekindle the file and enchantment they once had. Its like burning wet wood and you have to get to the root of the problem. What caused them to lose the fire? If it was the church – they might also be disgruntled. If it was people – they might be dysfunctional. If it was sin – and they are repentant they could be the best workers you ever had. Just remember past behavior is the best indicator of future performance. Like disgruntled people – if they are easily disenchanted whatever attracted them to your church probably wont be what keeps them serving and on mission.
Disenfranchised people: These people felt disconnected and powerless in their previous church. This could happen for a lot of reasons but you need to understand why. Did they need power? Is influence what they want? In a small church plant they can get that much easier than in a large church. It could be that no one ever took the time to really help them explore their gifts and discharge them into ministry in a meaningful way.
When I first started planting all I cared about was did they come and would they do something. Now I ask why they come and should they do something.