4. Adopt the “New here?” strategy.
How do you acknowledge people who are new to your church? Make sure to take time out during the service to acknowledge people who are new to your church and give them a sense of how they can take some initial steps into community. Lots of churches offer some sort of “first time guest gift” for people when they arrive — everybody loves to get a gift!
5. Harness social media outlets.
Are you using your social media for more than just a place to spam about your latest stuff happening at your church? What if you used your social media channels to be … social? Take some pictures of volunteers and thank them with a picture on Facebook — people will get to know names and faces by seeing them online, plus the volunteers will feel great. When people talk about your church online, thank them for the promotion. Ask questions on your social channels and then respond as a real person.
6. Provide clear and easy next steps.
How easy is it for people to get onto a service team or into a small group? What could you do to make it twice as easy as it is today? Providing über clear “next steps” is critical for churches to become more relational. Every weekend, people arrive at your church wanting to “get plugged in.” Are you ready for them when they are ready for you? (Or do you make them wait for a special time during the year?) How can you make it even clearer how people can find their place in the community?
7. Add play to the service.
At it’s core, friendship is just shared experiences. What if you did something really fun in an upcoming service so people have some sort of shared experience? Throw out some beach balls during a high energy worship song on a long weekend. Put a mini golf set in the foyer as people arrive to play together. Hand out popcorn to highlight a message that’s going to use some movie clips to tell a point. Find something fun for your people to participate in together — and you’d be amazed at the relationships that will begin to develop.