We are continuing our series on this emerging trend in the American Church. Read on for some great practical ministry tips to steward this moment in your church’s history to its maximum. And, make sure you check out Priority #1 and Priority #2 from earlier in this series.
Priority #3 – Switch to a Grass Roots Connection Process
We teach churches that an Engagement Pathway® is one of 6 key strategies every church must be developing. In ChurchOS®, we teach the concept of ONEs – people in our Relational Reach Zone™ who don’t yet know Jesus. Your Engagement Pathway® is the path you intentionally build to connect ONEs to Jesus, to your church and to each other.
Growth Track and Purpose Driven are two models of this strategy that many churches have copied.
In the last several years, I knew things were different when Jud Wilhite at Central Church (an extremely large church) in Vegas said on a webinar we hosted, “hey I am in the lobby giving out my personal cell number trying to connect new people and we are back to baking cookies for our neighbors.”
Here are some quick hitter Engagement Pathway® tips for today’s church:
- Relational NOT transactional. Fight for whites of the eye interactions and make info collection a by-product of relationship.
- Connection first, then spiritual formation. The gospel is a relational proposition. People must first know and be known so that they can grow more and more like Christ.
- Designed for those not yet here. When we design connection expectant of ONEs coming to know HIM, it helps mature our believers and create an expectation of God moving in people’s lives.
- Sequential design NOT a ministry buffet. Choice has become a barrier to connection in today’s filtered and sequenced world. Consider these two key questions as you design:
- What would a ONE say yes to next and why?
- What would we want for them next on the journey toward accepting and growing in Jesus.
Emerging Connection Strategy:
- Have someone compile a list of every new family that has registered for kid’s check in since November 2022.
- Sort that list into Oct to Dec 2022, Jan to Mar 2023, and Apr to Jun 2023 (Q2 is most important).
- Organize a calling campaign with scripts – We like a combo of staff and volunteers.
- Have the callers ask them what you can pray for and do it on the call.
- Determine a clear call to action. Make it a personal invite to something:
- A coffee.
- Meet up at a church service (Be sure to train those doing this to introduce them to others).
- Drive to your starter experience (My home church is driving people to our Discover experience).
- Brainstorm other ideas!
Be sure to watch out for the next blog in this series where we will cover Priority #4 – Return to a “Back to Basics” Mindset.