I was asked this question by a more seasoned colleague one day over lunch. It caught me off guard. I never thought about the type of person who is attracted to my ministry but as we shared a meal, he lopped that grenade on the table and it has been unsettling since.
I'm not unsettled because the question is too personal, it is just that I never thought of it before. I look at my congregations (past and present) and I'm trying to find the common denominator. Who came? Who arrived and felt welcomed, engaged, connected like never before? What type of people are drawn to how God is working through me?
Clergy always inherit parishioners. There are always people there before we arrive, and some stay and some go (minus new church starts of course). Yet there are those who only know me as the pastor of the church I am currently at. They don't know the past. They arrived in the present. I never really looked at these people and tried to figure out why they are drawn to my ministry.
I have a few men who came because their wives started coming first. Yet, now they love it. I have some who have been distant from church and never found a place to connect until now. I have some who moved and were looking for a taste of the church they grew up in and they have stayed. I have young couples with young families and retirees all coming to our small congregation.
I still don't know how to answer the question fully but I'm still searching for the answer. I do know that my style of ministry creates an open and relaxed setting in which people feel welcomed. I know my style of preaching likes to intertwine the 'real world' with 'God's world.' I'm always looking for ways to connect the common culture to God and the work we are called to do.
I know that relates to how people feel welcomed and enter our flock. But the type of peopled drawn to my ministry???? Huh...
How about you...what type of people are drawn to the way God works through you?