This is the third of five chapters in a 25 part blog series titled: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy, published over a five week period. Everything I have posted here is the result of my own personal experiences, from serving on church staffs, volunteering as a lay leader, and being brought in as a paid consultant. It is my hope that these posts will help you and your church get better at connecting with guests, not simply to increase your attendance and membership, but ultimately to grow the body of Christ. Implementing a Connections strategy (or “Assimilation” strategy) is a long term process, and one that relies on a culture of continual improvement. This chapter has five entries, which will all be linked below the post as they are published.
3.5 Next Steps. The key to a good follow up call is a set of clearly communicated “next steps” for every guest.
Your church may already have a clearly defined NEXT STEPS system in place as part of your discipleship process. If so, your phone calls and other communication will be focused on connecting guests somewhere into the next steps process.
Connections Ministry is more than just a strategy to connect with people; it is about building a culture in your church that embraces guests and connects them to Jesus.
If the words NEXT STEPS are something you had to think through in your mind, don’t worry. Even without a fully developed discipleship/Ed process, we can still make it simple to connect guests to your church in the short term.
Here is what I mean when I mention NEXT STEPS: Each person is at a different place in their journey of faith in Jesus Christ. NEXT STEPS are milestones and opportunities for each of us can step forward in faith; the ways your church can help them grow closer to Christ. Some churches define and communicate these more clearly than others, but every church has NEXT STEPS.
Need Examples? Here are some common NEXT STEPS (not a complete list):
- Join A Small Group
- Serve The Community
- Financially Supporting The Church
- Join The Church
These NEXT STEPS don’t just connect people to your church; they serve the spiritual needs of the people God brings you. Why else exist if not to draw people to Jesus, right? Don’t miss this: The NEXT STEPS for a guest to connect and be a part of your church should reflect the NEXT STEPS each guest needs to draw closer to Jesus. We’ll get into that in the next chapter.
Your NEXT STEPS are everything when it comes to follow-up. That means that everyone in leadership needs to know precisely what the NEXT STEPS are and how to communicate them. That also means they need to be fully fleshed out and a part of the Connections process. A Connections process is about more than following up with guests. It is about aiming the ministries of your church to engage with guests and minister to them. Connections Ministry is more than just a strategy to connect with people; it is about building a culture in your church that embraces guests and connects them to Jesus.
In addition to sharing NEXT STEPS, here are some questions to prepare for:
- What are the specific steps needed to join a small group and what information can your guest walk away with immediately? (Printed materials for core ministries can also be emailed).
- What are the core ministries of your church?
- What time does everything happen?
- How much are the events being promoted and how do we sign up?
- How do I find the right places to go inside the church building or wherever else I’m supposed to go?
Next: Chapter 4 – Connecting In Community
Main Series Page: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy
Element Two: Guest Services