Making your church more relational is important, regardless of its size.
In small churches, it’s often assumed everyone knows everyone, and so, as leaders, we don’t work to ensure that people are connecting. In medium size churches, we’re embarrassed that we don’t know everyone anymore and might be paralyzed to try to help people connect. Large churches need to work strategically to fight the “we’re too big” sentiment that can easily arise. Although the best place for people to develop relationships within your church is going to be on a service team or in a small group we can still make our weekend services have relational elements.
Here are a few ways your church can be more relational this coming weekend:
1. Add some coffee.
Something almost magical happens when coffee is available in any environment … it makes it more relational. It slows people down from just rushing out at the end of the service. Even the big football player type guy can be intimidated to talk to other people, but when he has cup of good coffee in his hand he’s comfortable to chat it up.
2. Start a foyer team.
Find your most outgoing (and not creepy!) volunteers and ask them to help “connect people” in the foyer. Charge them with “swimming” the foyer before and after your services to find people who might be just “standing around” and approach them to get to know them. Ask them to make introductions between people … like a great party host. The key to this team is that they aren’t at some “post” to stand there and do a specific job … their role is to move around the foyer to find people to connect and welcome.
3. Add conversation prompts during the service.
Why not add some fun conversation starters to your service next weekend and see what happens? Near the beginning of the service, ask people to turn to someone they don’t know and answer a simple and fun question. Don’t make it too complex … something that can just spark a small conversation. Hopefully, these small interactions will break the ice and make it easier to connect after the service.
4. “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!