Thanks for your comments on the gospel imperatives. I encourage you to continue to talk with your churches about them.
However, this year we're focusing especially on reaching new people. What is it, in your estimation, that keeps us from being as effective as we might in that regard?
There seems to be at least two different angles on reaching new people.
1) Reaching the new people who actually walk in our doors. Last Sunday a new person to the community (long time United Methodist elsewhere) who had been church shopping for a couple of months woke up and prayed, "Dear God, please let someone talk to me when I go to church this morning." We obviously have some work to do, given this person's 5-6 weeks of church shopping in United Methodist churches in Minnesota.
What keeps us from reaching new people who actually walk through our doors?
2) Reaching the new people who live in our communities. What keeps us from identifying a community of people--a specific age or ethnic group--and effectively including them in the life of our church (through worship or other outreach)?