I know that ‘Your Church’ sounds like it’s leaving God out of the picture. We could debate the value of saying ‘God’s Church’ when we are talking about His bride. And I totally understand and agree with this. What I mean when I am referencing ‘Your church’ is how it functions and what are some characteristics of the specific local church.
Just like God created all of us as individuals to be different, I believe all churches have their own uniqueness as well. The pastors’ heart and the characteristics of the members of the body help to form the ‘personality’ of the church. With all that said, I think it is important that we create ways to introduce ‘our church’ to those who are new to the church. This will go a long way to closing the back door and helping people gain a better understanding of how to connect to the church. We have been doing this at our church for several years now by offering monthly sessions that are about 45 minutes to an hour long, where we follow this basic outline:
- Who we are and where we’ve come from (People really want to know some history about how the church has made it to where they are today.)
- Engage by asking people what they are enjoying about our church (Great opportunity to hear some encouraging words and for those there to voice their thoughts)
- How to connect at our church. We promote 2 basic ways: Ministries (Serving) and small groups (Discipleship/Relationships). It’s important to have ways for people to ‘connect’ at the meeting by signing up to try out a ministry or sign up for a group of some type. They need a way at the meeting to act on what it is you are telling them to do.
- How we function (What is the structure of the church like?)
- What’s unique about our church (Is there anything that is different?)
This meeting helps paint a picture of not only the church, but also a path for people to follow to experience more of what the church is doing. This is not a high pressured sales pitch for the church. It’s more of a casual atmosphere where we normally have snacks and something to drink. At this meeting we also make the statement, “We know that every church is not for every person, but every person needs to be a part of a church. If this isn’t the church for you, we want to help you find that church and if there is anything we can do to help you in this process we’re here.” We have found that this disarms people and helps them to relax and listen to what we have to say.
This is not a membership class and people are not encouraged to become a member until they have connected to ministries and groups. Once they have done this, they are encouraged to come to the next new member class where the Membership Agreement is reviewed in depth.