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7 Tips for Connecting New Church Members

Tip 4. Next steps

At every event a person’s next steps should be clear. People are looking for guidance. So often the church makes you guess at what your next step should be. We are to be a light to people, not a fog in their journey. Make the path clear so they can get connected. Have it spelled out in your printed material, on the web and in your verbal communication from the pulpit. If you aren’t clear or you are unsure, you can guarantee a visitor or new member won’t have a clue. If you think your communication is clear, have an unsaved friend read what you think is clear and see if they agree. So often we put “Christianese” in our documents or words our church people know, but that a visitor wouldn’t. Rate your church on how clear the pathway is for a person to get connected.


Tip 5. Empower others

Give people in your church the responsibility to connect new church members. This past fall in our church’s 40 Days of Purpose campaign, we challenged each of our Host Homes to go out and get people. Now, that is nothing new. Each week we always want people in our church to invite others. But when people feel the responsibility to reach out, something happens. 40 Days not only challenged people to lead a group, it challenged them to FILL a group. They felt the desire because we empowered them. They were our army, they had the passion, they had the connections. When we empowered them, our people in groups went from 8,000 to 20,000+. That’s more than we could have hoped for. Rate your church on how well they empower people to connect others to the church.


Tip 6. Customer service: Hard on you, easy on them

This is a simple sentence, but one the church hasn’t caught on to. We are on this earth to serve our customers—the lost, the un-churched, the sheep God has sent to our pen (church). But so often we behave like the disciples in John 13. We walk into a room wanting someone to wash our feet. But when Jesus modeled what to do, in that moment, each one of the disciples WISHED they had done something different. Avoiding the towel to wash the feet was the easy thing to do, not the correct thing to do. When your church plans an event to connect people, or develops a pathway for people to get connected, or anything—make it easy on them and hard on us. Take the burden totally off them and put it on you. If the best time to get people connected is on Sunday morning, guess what, connect them on Sunday mornings. If the bulletin is the best method to sign people up, use the bulletin. Rate your church on how well they service new or visiting members.


Tip 7. They are your future

New church members know other new people. This isn’t rocket science, but it is amazing how often we miss this common fact. We want our church to grow, but we don’t invest in the people that know other people who need Christ. I heard a stat that when you first become a Christian, you know 50 un-churched people. However, by the time you have been a believer 10 years you known five un-churched people. Whatever the numbers, for most Christians, the longer we are a believer the more we don’t know un-believers. Two things.

First, as believers, we need to make a conscious effort to always be in the path of un-believers. Second, each new person in your church has a network that they can influence for Christ. If we want to reach our area for Christ, let’s network with the people God sends to us. When we see one visitor, let’s see 51 (1 + the 50 they know). Now that should give you motivation and a snapshot into your church’s future! Rate your church on how well they see the future in each visitor.


Now that you have rated your church on connecting to new church members, review your scores. You may go to a low score and work on that. You may go to a “tip” you feel the Lord wants you to make better even though it may not be the lowest. Whatever the case, how we treat people, especially new church members, who are God’s highest commodity, should be our driving force. We are on this earth to help people prepare for eternity.

Shouldn’t new church members experiences be the best experience they have on this earth?