Increase Involvement Through Relationships

What does it mean to get involved at your church? Now for some of us who’ve been around church for a long time, being involved can mean someone attends just about everything that’s going on or is actively contributing to some ministry effort. But involvement for the guest is a lot more tame than that.

People need to become involved by taking one step beyond showing up for Sunday worship. Maybe that step is attending a small group or a midweek Bible study. It could be attending a women’s event or a Sunday school class. The critical step is that they participate in something where they can feel like they are part of something. If a woman attends a women’s event, she now feels a part of the women of the church. Same for a guy in a men’s event or anybody who attends a small group. When I take the second step in a church, my feeling of involvement goes up significantly, unless of course, no one spoke to me or cared that I was there.

What are the best relational settings in your church? Is that small groups or Sunday school? Is it a regular rally or fellowship event? Whatever it might be, you need to get your guests involved in the first 6-8 weeks after their initial visit. Come join the softball team…play music with us on Friday night…join the other moms at an outing this week…come help us assemble food boxes for the poor. Any such effort feels like involvement, especially if I’m likely to get to know people.

When I was a kid, a lot of people would go to a restaurant after Sunday night church. When guests came along, they almost always became a long-term part of our church. Why? they felt like they were involved with some people. And since we hit a restaurant a couple of Sunday nights a month, it became a habit that just increased the feeling of connection.

Figure out the best relational settings and use the potential for friendship to draw people in. Yes, a study of a bookeven a book of the Biblecan be extraordinary, but guests is more likely to attend if they can find friends who care.

Get people involved in something–the sooner the better. Of course, we aren’t trying to sign them up for things on their first visit, but if they come back a second time, we need to help them find an inviting next step with us.

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