This is the fourth 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.
Want to connect new faces into groups? Put a spotlight on the ways your church offers community. Provide clear cut next steps for guests to be engaged in your discipleship process. Tell your stories; video testimonies, on stage interviews, blog posts, and pictures are all ways to reveal what God is doing through community at your church. All of these things can help guests understand the value of community individually and corporately. Here are some ways that churches connect guests in community:
4.1 Group Link Events. Some churches launch groups on a Fall/Spring semester schedule. Others go year round, and there are some that offer both! Whatever your groups strategy is, you probably do something at different seasons during the year to generate momentum for your groups and group signups.
Your church can calendar events geared to inviting guests to connect with the leaders in ministries that provide an experience of community. Typically these events involve a period of time where your small groups as well as other ministries will send leaders to mingle around some coffee or other refreshments, wearing name-tags, and simply being available for people to meet and shake hands with. These events have a reception-like vibe, and are very informal.
The Goal. The goal here is just to get guests around your people to make a personal connection, and get answers to their questions. There is no one way to do an event like this Grouplink events are held at all different times; during church services, between them, after church, or even on a non-NFL game Sunday in your city. (Don’t laugh; in the U.S.A. we all know football is king in the culture we live in. You are not compromising by understanding the culture around you. You’re just smart. This is America we’re reaching, after all.)
Set It up: A good way to host an event like this is to promote it for a few weeks, and create some signs and stations to help guests understand which part of the building each ministry is located, or at least where the ministries are being represented at the event. For instance, if your church has a large entryway/Atrium type area, your young marrieds are by the window, your community ministry is in the corner next to them, the singles are next, etc. Alternatively, your church may arrange leaders according to the day of the week they are meeting, or even which part of town or neighborhood they are meeting in.
I’m sure you can come up with even better ideas; let me know when you do!
Main Series Page: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy