Or an expert tells them that "contemporary worship" is attracting new folks -- so they rip out the pipe organ and put in a praise band.
Or start seeker-sensitive services.
Or begin Saturday night services.
Or round-up folks for Cowboy Church (I'm not making this up!).
Or... whatever. Lots of congregations try these things and don't see much in the way of results.
It seems that the one thing we don't do is try and make our faith beautiful. That's right -- beautiful. I've been thinking about that a lot after reading Tony Jone's The New Christians. Especially the passage where he says:
"... why in the world would you think that you can do anything to get people to come to church? Instead, why don't you worry about being faithful -- living out a beautiful Christianity -- and see what the spirit does in your midst? I think that people will be more attracted to the Spirit than anything you could ever do to "hook" them. (p. 201)
"Why don't you worry about being faithful -- living out a beautiful Christianity -- and see what the spirit does in your midst?" I am more than ever convinced of the wisdom undergirding Jones' thinking.