Engaging Your ONE: Part 1
In a recent post, we shared some principles about the ONE in your church. For context, in Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables that point to the lost and prioritize the One: the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the lost son. When talking about the lost sheep, Jesus says, “Won’t he leave the Ninety-nine in the wilderness and go search for the one that is lost until he finds it?”
The assumption is that the ONE is lost and not in a relationship with Christ. At Intentional Churches, we’ve learned that your ability to double your Kingdom impact is directly connected to your ability to engage and connect with your ONE. We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. If you do not connect your ONE with you, Jesus, and others, you lose. You cannot go on an eternal difference-making journey with them if you have not effectively connected with them.
You want your first steps of connection to be so simple and intuitive, the ONE can’t help but walk through them.
When we install our ChurchOS leadership system in a church, we spend a great deal of time on the ONE and how to engage them. Read more about the ONE.
Now it’s time for the ONE to walk through the front door of your church. You’ve been praying for this moment. You’ve been envisioning the Ninety-nine (your ‘flock’) on mission with you, and they are investing and inviting their ONE’s. Maybe the ONE walked through the door on the arm of a friend who is already connected to your church. Or perhaps they didn’t. How you engage them next could make an eternal difference.
The Engagement Pathway is foundational to reaching the lost and must be developed in every church to quickly engage your ONE. The Engagement Pathway is all about getting people moving – moving toward you, toward Jesus, and toward others. They come through your door, take a baby step of engagement, then join a service team, jump into a group, and go back out into the Reach Zone to impact their world. Each step is deliberately connected to the next.
In the next series of posts, we want to share some principles to help you design your own Engagement Pathway. Every church is unique and you may already have something similar activated in your church. But read each post with a sense of discovery, open to new or refreshing ideas even if something sounds familiar. Let’s dive into the first principle in designing your Engagement Pathway.
Principle #1: Opt-in
The key to a good Engagement Pathway is that it’s built with “opt-in thinking.” You want to make taking a first step so simple and intuitive, that the ONE can’t help but opt in. Building simple opt-in steps requires experimentation and the discipline of constant improvement. To best illustrate this, here is an example of the sequence of practical, experimental improvements a church might make over time as they work toward an effective Engagement Pathway:
Change #1: Build a room for guests staffed with nice people to answer questions and promote it from the stage every single week.
Change #2: Move the room from the second floor to a spot near the lobby. The ONE doesn’t want to walk upstairs after the service, they want to get to the car.
Change #3: Attach the room to the sanctuary to make it simple to enter after services.
Change #4: Train the staff in the room to act more like concierge, tour guides, and pastoral experts than info-desk attendants.
Change #5: Put an exit door on the room so the ONE doesn’t feel intimidated to enter.
Change #6: Change the décor to match the tastes of the ONE – become more relevant in appearance.
Change #7: Offer a gift, a Starbucks card, or more for anyone who stops by.
Change #8: Promote the connection area every week for anyone who has a question, would like to meet with someone, or wants to take a next step of some kind.
This illustration is based on a sequence of events in real churches we’ve worked with. Through each adjustment, guest connections became more and more effective.
Beneath this series of changes is a commitment to big goals set for connections and the result of constant assessment. Don’t underestimate goal-setting. Team alignment around big goals keeps the Engagement Pathway front and center with a church team and can lead to serious growth in your church.
Do you have a designated connection area strategically located and staffed with concierges? Are there changes you need to make? When you design it well and promote it from the platform, movement will happen and people will want to engage and take their next step. Consider how one small adjustment on your part could make a difference in eternity.
Don’t miss our next post. We’ll look more principles for an effective Engagement Pathway and provide practical steps to help you get started.