Have you picked up on the fact that unconnected people are different in some ways than connected people? If you have, you are already moving in the right direction. Next, though, you understand there are four main types of unconnected people, and how you might connect them depends on improving your understanding of their needs and interests.
There are four main types of unconnected people.
1. Busy with other priorities and commitments. This segment of unconnected people is a very large and quite diverse group. It includes everyone frantically preoccupied as their children’s chauffeurs as well as those whose own extracurricular activities crowd out the truly important. It also includes those who have commitments to church functions and activities that produce little more than sideways energy. See also, A Smörgåsbord of Destinations VS Sequential and Tailored Next Steps and Small Group Ministry Roadblock #2: A Bloated Belong and Become Menu.
2. Satisfied customers of a less than recommended or minimum dose. Another large group of unconnected people, members of this group are unaware or unconvinced that they are missing anything. If you are communicating about the importance of being connected and its vital role in producing life-change, they are either not getting the signal or the signal is unclear. See also, Determining the Minimum or Recommended Dose.
3. Dissatisfied former customers. The size of this group of unconnected people is determined by several factors (i.e., the quality of your leader development pathway, the effectiveness of your coaching structure, clearly communicated expectations, etc.). While it is rarely a large group, it is important to understand their objections and concerns. See also, Skill Training: Equip Your Coaches to Develop and Disciple Your Leaders and Small Group Ministry Roadblock #5: A Leadership Development Disconnect.
4. Infrequent attenders. The size of this group is determined by a few key factors (most importantly, the size of your “crowd”). They may share some common traits with the first two types of unconnected people, but they are distinct in that their attendance pattern makes any awareness of the importance of connecting unlikely. Unless you make a strong case for the importance of being connected every week, it is likely they know nothing about it.
How to Connect Unconnected People
First, keep the needs and interests of unconnected people in mind. Their interests and needs are not the same as those who are already connected.
Second, relentlessly communicate the importance of being connected. Talk about the recommended or minimum dose on a regular basis (announcements, messages, bulletins, website, newsletters, etc.). Take the mystery away along with any confusion.
Third, teach your congregation to prioritize the main things. Clarify the main things. Challenge the presence of menu items that distract from the minimum dose.
Fourth, focus on raising the quality of the experience in every group. Build an effective coaching structure, identify a leadership pathway that develops leaders out of hosts, and constantly clarify expectations.