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.
4.5 Serving in the Church. In previous posts I’ve emphasized small groups as a key piece in your church Connections Ministry strategy. Your small groups are a way for guests to build relationships and to value your mission & vision week to week.
But a small groups ministry is not the only way to provide healthy community. As we disciple our churches to make disciples as Jesus commanded us to do, we know that we are called to do more than just connect in groups with each other.
No, we don’t need to “do” anything to earn God’s affection or forgiveness. But the Gospel is not a mere intellectual pursuit either. Working through each of us, Hope by way of Jesus Christ is extended. As the church, we serve Jesus together both inside the church walls and outside the church walls. We serve with an inward focus and an external focus. For Jesus.
Some of your guests are longing to serve in this capacity. Others have zero capacity to even breathe let alone get involved with a group or ministry as a result of their their current situation. But serving together is what we do, in Christ. And a lot our best moments both relationally and spiritually come from serving in the church. If you’re serving others consistently, you already understand this. As a church, you are:
- Serving other ministries to the hurting and homeless.
- Providing childcare so parents can find community in a small group.
- Yardwork for widows and the disabled.
- Helping unemployed workers find a place to earn their next paycheck.
- Launching other churches.
- Running summer camps for at risk kids in your city. And other cities.
- Sending workers overseas to provide medical care and clean water.
- Greeting first time guests in the parking lot, even if it is winter in Buffalo and Summer in Dallas.
You didn’t need me to explain how important serving others is for the church. So, start thinking now about what sort of serving opportunities your church offers that are open to recent guests. What can a new person do to serve? What could someone who isn’t a Christian at all, but is showing a desire to belong, become a part of?
We are the church. We serve together inside and outside the walls of the church building (if we actually have one).
NEXT: Chapter 5: Serving Together
Main Series Page: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy