There are lots of different people who walk through church doors on a Sunday morning.
Someone may walk through your doors that has never heard the gospel before.
Or someone who has always hated and had negative perceptions of the local church.
Then, you also have familiar faces that, almost literally, light up the building when they walk into the room. They’re your rockstar volunteers. They add to the health and growth of your church.
And your regular attenders, who are in all different places in their life and faith.
A disconnected church leads to disconnected people who will eventually fizzle out or become attenders who show up for the important holidays or once a month and aren't seen or heard from again.
But a church with integral members who add to the lifeblood of the church—those connections will produce church growth, health, and help build the Kingdom of God. We all want these thriving people adding to the ministry of our local church.
So, how do you connect such diverse people to your local church?
1. Define what connection is.
To start, if you want people to get connected to your church, you have to decide what that looks like.
Is it getting people in a small group? Giving? Regular Sunday attendance?
There are endless possibilities and every church might have a different answer. But it's important to figure this out, so you can tangibly measure how many people are connecting to your church.
2. Give the Sunday service your all.
Your high-capacity volunteers may show up to Bible studies, youth, or other church events in the middle of the week, but it is likely that your newer crowd will not.
Take advantage of the fact that the Sunday service experience is a place where most of your church members will be all at one time. Seasoned and new believers alike.
This isn’t the time to give this 50%. When looking at your Sundays, ask yourself:
- Is this the best our service can be?
- What can we do to improve our music time? What kind of songs should we play? Are they theologically sound? Do they fit our culture?
- How do we want to approach announcements? How much time do we allot for that?
- What should the structure of the hour-long service look like?
- How will we use media?
- What system do we have for new guests? And for regular attenders?
If you are a Church Fuel member, we have several evaluation forms with Church Fuel’s resource library if you’re interested in a more detailed evaluation of your Sunday service.
3. Create a clear connection process.
It is so much more than having someone commit to regularly attending. That’s just dead weight.
Most of us want people engaging with our churches in some way. This could look like joining a small group, committing to tithe regularly, or serving on a team.
But how do people know where to start?
One of our favorite connection pipelines we’ve seen is City Church in Tallahassee, FL.
There is a clear process in which new members go to a “first look” to meet some of the staff. Then, there’s a more in depth “101” class which presents the mission and vision of City Church. This gives new people, looking to get connected, the opportunity to hear about what groups there are, teams to serve on, and other ministry opportunities there are for them and figure out where their fit is.
And at the following “201” class, they are opted with the option to become a member.
Every church structure does not have to look like this one. It’s just a clear, thought-out system and that makes it 10x easier for new people or people who have been around for a year to finally take the next step and become a part of their local church, rather than just a “consumer.”
4. Put someone in charge.
There is a reason so many churches have pastors that are solely Connections Pastors.
This job is no easy feat. The person has to be personable, good with names, and good with keeping up with people.
But if you want to see growth in your church, you need someone (even if on a volunteer basis) who is overseeing and delegating the systems you have in place for getting people connected to your church.
5. Measure the results.
At the end of the day, once you've put all the work into establishing what connection looks like and you have a system in place, you'll need to measure it.
This way, you can look over these numbers and re-arrange your systems if need be.