Engaging Your ONE: Part 2
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. In a recent post about the ONE, we shared who the ONE is and why the ONE is so important to kingdom impact.
Now we continue the conversation as the ONE walks through the door of your church. It’s what you’ve been praying and preparing for. How you engage your ONE next could make an eternal difference. If you did not read Engaging Your One: Part 1, check it out here.
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.
Today we are sharing principles to help you design your own Engagement Pathway. As we mentioned previously, every church is unique and you may already have something similar activated in your church. But read these with a sense of discovery, open to new or refreshing ideas even if something sounds familiar. Let’s dive into four principles for designing your Engagement Pathway.
Principle #2: Simple Steps (Not Giant Leaps)
You must constantly work to break down the steps of increasing commitment into simple, doable, baby steps that the ONE can and will take. Drowning in a buffet of programs, churches are notorious for building barriers to entry and not simple, doable steps. Instead of giant leaps, build intuitive incremental movements for the ONE. Here are 3 quick examples of giant leaps versus simple steps.
Giant Leap Design:
- Fill out this connection card with all of your details.
- Sign up to serve in the nursery for life (or at least indefinitely.)
- Go to the lobby and pick a small group you’d like to attend from the pamphlets on the wall.
Simple Step Design:
- Give us only the information we need and we’ll make sure someone follows up with you.
- Let’s find your gifts and passions and try a serving spot out for a couple of weeks.
- Let me help you find the right small group – what’s your age? Where do you live? Do you have kids?
Get the picture? Simple steps must become your way of life, especially concerning the ONE. If your Engagement Pathway isn’t working well, and people aren’t returning, connecting or taking the next steps you’d hoped for, stop and figure it out. Souls are riding on it. It’s likely a break-down in your simple-step design.
Principle #3: Relational
A great Engagement Pathway gets a human involved and a relationship established as soon as possible. In the book, What Every Pastor Should Know, authors Gary McIntosh and Charles Arn share a stat that is still true today. Once a person has made seven friendship connections at your church on average, they consider themselves a part of your church family. The obvious question: How quickly can we make those meaningful connections happen?
Here are some practical ideas to increase your relational connections:
- Staff your welcome and connection areas with knowledgeable and trained people with the right gift mix. Have them collect contact info on at least one new person a week and meet for coffee, lunch, etc.
- Take an “ushering” mentality to the next level – meaning, train your Ninety-nine to usher people to their next step of engagement. If they are checking in their kids, usher them to the check-in area. If they express an interest in connecting, usher them to the connection opportunities and help them figure out their best option. Wanna be baptized? Show them how to sign up. Whatever they ask about, try to walk them there.
- If you have any type of first step or membership class, be sure to make it interactive and use hosts to facilitate table conversation. Have the hosts get to know the people at the table and follow up with them.
- Install the 5-min rule. Have everyone on your team take 5 minutes immediately following the service, find a new person, not someone they know, and talk with them before they head for the doors. Especially critical for portable churches!
- Place the same greeter and usher personnel in similar spots each week so they can learn to spot new faces. Train them why they make such a difference and how to interact with and engage newcomers.
- Encourage your worship team to mingle and connect in the welcome or lobby area before and after services.
Principle #4: Sequential
People think and move in steps. It’s natural if you have taken step one to be looking for step two. At the same time, people do not want to feel processed. They just want their next step to make sense. Map out the sequence of connection for your ONE. What will the typical ONE do first? What would your ONE like to do next? And so on. If you teach a message about the value of life-changing relationships, make sure you immediately offer an easy opportunity to get into a small group.
Principle #5: Meaningful
The Engagement Pathway must be built to deliver and add value for the ONE. Where are they really living? What do they really need? What are the current driving forces in his or her life, and family? Take a hard look at your ONE’s motivators in life. For example, one church discovered their ONE wasn’t really looking for new friends, they had plenty. What they really wanted was a better understanding of the ancient religion they had grown up with. The church started simple Wednesday night Bible classes, and engagement went through the roof.
Principle #6: Measurable
You can measure your Engagement Pathway and know if you are on pace to double your Kingdom impact or not. Really, you can! The connection and transformation of the ONE into a fully committed Ninety-nine on mission with you and Christ is the bellwether marker of where you are headed in both the short and long term. You can tell if your five-year vision is on pace or not. ChurchOS helps you design and set your own measurables and goals first. Each pathway is unique, as is each road to double Kingdom impact.
Now that you understand more about the ONE and the design and importance of the Engagement Pathway to connect them, you can see how critical it is that your Ninety-nine be on mission with you. Almost counterintuitively, one of the best ways to grow your Ninety-nine into disciples of Christ is to be a church built for the ONE. Next post, let’s talk more about the Ninety-nine. Hope to see you then!