50% of the resources at Cornerstone United Methodist Church are spent on people who are not there says pastor Brad Kalajainen. He started the Grand Rapids, Michigan church with 25 people in his basement, and today hosts 2,000 worshipers each Sunday.
Brad’s heart is for those who are not Christians as he takes quite seriously Jesus’ words in Luke 14 to ‘compel them to come in.’ Keeping the flame of invitational evangelism alive, however, is not easy, as Brad shares in this insightful interview that helped me think more deeply about the importance of each individual reaching out as a way of building up.
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Brad’s drive and focus is only surpassed by his deep love for growing Christ’s church. From the beginning, as this United Methodist intentional church start, leaders began gathering people via a targeted telemarketing campaign, which has kept the congregation continually asking, ‘Who am I going to invite next?’ It’s a question we all should be asking more frequently. Here are my notes from the interview:
The 87% Rule
Brad says a person has an 87% chance of joining the church if accompanied by a friend who invited them to Cornerstone. However, a person has an 87% chance of not sticking around if they don’t know anyone when they attend. The power of invitation not only brings people in but keeps them there.
Invest in Marketing
Cornerstone has, since the start, understood the value of letting the world know its there. Through targeted direct mail campaigns preceding big events it has seen many people come to church and come to Christ.
Never Preach for Nothing
Brad is passionate about preaching to compel people to do something. He explains the 4 parts of a person a good sermon should touch: head, heart, hands, and belly.
About Brad Kalajainen
Dr. Bradley Kalajainen is the founding pastor and lead pastor of Cornerstone UMC in Grand Rapids, MI that has become a teaching church recognized throughout the Midwest. Brad served as Director of New Church Development for United Methodists in West Michigan between 2009-2010. He coaches new church pastors and pastors in redevelopment or multi-sites in several conferences. Brad is married to Colleen who teaches vocal music at Caledonia Community schools. They have two children: Kaylee, age 22 is a grad student at the University of Michigan, and Ben, age 19, is a sophomore at North Park University. Their dog Gracie remains faithfully at home.
Sponsors I Mentioned
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