Episode 4 of the Infuse Leadership Podcast is now available on iTunes and on our website HERE. The title of this episode is “Flippin’ Off The Church” and we are interviewing Aaron Fiore. Aaron is someone who was found by Jesus through Element, but came from a background where he would literally flip off churches as he drove by. If someone were to ask who our target audience was as a church, Aaron would be that person. We wanted to sit down with Aaron to hear from him about his story. How did God reach him through a church? Where did the anger toward the church come from? What did the church do to help break down those barriers to God in his life? Aaron shares some super practical information that hopefully helps all of us do a better job at reaching people far from God.
Apple iTunes link HERE.
Online link HERE.
Aaron’s IMDb link HERE. (If you listen you’ll understand)
1. “What got me to flip off the church? Anger!” — I loved what Aaron articulated. He said that he took out his anger on the church but that ultimately he was angry at himself. Angry at the choices he had made that brought him to the place where he was. I thought this was great insight for us church leaders that not everyone who appears to be angry at God or the church really are, and they may not even know it. It’s only on this side of knowing Jesus that I think Aaron is able to articulate this, but it’s a great reminder for us to be extremely patient with people who appear to be angry at us or God because they might be just one step away from knowing Him.
2. “The thing that stood out to me was that He always lived it.” — Aaron shared the story of a friend of his from years ago who simply lived out his faith in Jesus. He never pressured Aaron to believe, didn’t condemn him, demean him or shun him. He welcomed Aaron into his life and then lived out what he believed. Aaron comments on how that was one of the catalysts to bringing him to the faith years later.
3. Even people who appear to hate God will turn to Him in times of need — This was SO, SO huge to me and is a great reminder for all of us. Aaron turned to the church when life was at it’s worst. Even people who flip off God and the church will turn somewhere when they don’t know where to go. Aaron said, “When you don’t know where to get help the seeds that were planted previously turned me to the church.” Planting seeds can be just as powerful as preaching the Word. David Hall, if you’re reading this and you know Aaron, he’d love to speak with you. Please look us up.
[Tweet “Planting seeds can be just as powerful as preaching the Word.”]
4. Web-sites matter — This seems kind of weird in the middle of a pretty serious conversation with Aaron about what brought him to church, but Aaron said he chose Element based off of a Google search and our web-site. He said, “I remember when I got on the web-site the church looked different.” If he was going to give God and His church a chance he was looking for something specific and he thought that maybe Element met that criteria. This doesn’t mean that Element is the only church that people far from God would be looking for, it is just a great reminder that when people far from God turn to the church we better have a web-site that reflects who we are and the kind of people we are trying to reach. By the way, if you need help with web-design and development, check out Belay Solutions. We are now using them for all of our web-design and development needs here at Element.
[Tweet “When people far from God turn to the church we better have a web-site that reflects who we are and the kind of people we are trying to reach.”]
5. “I thought I was flying in under the radar.” — Lots of people, ESPECIALLY people who are far from God or opposed to God want to fly under the radar when they give God’s church a chance. Not everyone wants to be known or know someone the first time they attend. There is a fine balance in the church of being “welcoming” without being “worrying” to someone. Church is probably already weird and terrifying to someone who has never been before. We need to remember that when we serve the people that God brings through our doors. That new person might be giving God and the church ONE chance that day. I hope we are doing everything in our power to make that a welcoming experience so they will return or seek out God through another Bible believing church in town. They may not like our church but I hope we don’t turn them off to THE Church.
[Tweet “They may not like our church but I hope we don’t turn them off to THE Church.”]
6. The people in the pew are just as important as the pastor in the pulpit — Aaron talked about the men’s group that sought him out, served him and was patient with him in his pursuit of God. As a pastor, this was a great reminder for me and a great confirmation of one of our Core Values here at Element. It Matters — No matter what you do IN the church it matters just the same FOR the church. From the parking lot to the pulpit every position in the church matters.
[Tweet “From the parking lot to the pulpit every position in the church matters. “]
7. “In everything I do I try to be the best Christian I can be because I know people are watching.” — This for me seemed to carry more weight coming from Aaron and his background. Aaron sees Christianity from an entirely different perspective than someone like me. As someone who hated God and the Church, he was watching so called “Christians” to prove their hypocrisy. I hope that all of us will follow Aaron’s example of being determined to live out his faith, as best he can, because people are watching.