May 15, 2008

Connecting People in Christ

Draw --> Welcome --> Connect --> Assimilate --> Disciple

We are looking at how we can be a church that is drawing people and welcoming people. Today, we will look the necessity for connecting people.

Great! Now that we have new visitors that our members have been inviting, and now that we have welcomed new visitors, we have to consider how we can connect people.

Even when a new-comer is drawn to Christ and welcomed into the church, unless they are connected with others, they will soon drift. People discover Christ through relationships and that means that we have to provide multiple avenues for people to connect with others. It is in those relationships that people discover Jesus and grow in the faith.

There are several strategies that I would like Trinity to engage in.

First is what I call the ABC's of small groups. The premise is that it is in small groups that people learn and grow in their faith.

A - stands for activity based small groups. This can be softball, volleyball, knitting, paint-ball, motorcylcling, golf, cars, or just about any kind of activity that people like to engage in. The key here is a leader who will organize and facilitate these activities. These activity based groups aren't started just for activities, but always with a mind to help people develop relationships between mature believers and non-Christians and new Christians.

B - stands for Bible based small groups. Most churches to okay in this area, but the problem is that these are the only kinds of small groups that most churches offer. And the problem with only providing Bible based small groups is that most non-churched people have little interest in the Bible. They need other avenues to connect with Christ-followers.

C - stands for community based small groups. This has to do with different life stages and circumstances. Examples of community based small groups are - MOPS (Mothers of Preschool Children), single parents, divorcees, widowers, recovery groups, etc.

The ABC's small groups allows multiple entry points for people to develop relationships with one another and with Jesus Christ.

Another strategy that I would love to see Trinity be able to start is what I call "Spiritual Trainers." Most churches function like huge exercise and gym clubs like 24 hour Fitness, or LA Fitness, etc. We sign up as many people as possible knowing that only a very few people will actually know how to use the facilities, equipment, and classes to achieve their fitness goals. We know that the great majority of people will give up in time.

If the goal is to get fit, one of the best ways to do that is to have a personal trainer who - based on how much time one has, what their goals are, etc. - designs a training regiment to accomplish those goals.

Many churches have a myriad of ministries and programs. We typically throw the book at them and say, "Here you go. If you can somehow navigate this maze and find the right people and a place where you can serve, great."

Most new comers have no idea who our leaders are and what these different ministries do.

I would love to see a group of people trained to be spiritual trainers who will meet with every member to discern, how much time people have, what their talents and interests are, what their spiritual goals are and design an individual program to help people meet their needs.

When we get better at connecting people, we will facilitate mature Christ-followers to continue their spiritual growth through service and ministry, and help non-Christians and new-comers to develop relationships with one another and with maturing Christ-followers.

Bottom line - we have to get better at connecting people.

No comments: