The Big 5 Questions: Their Answers Will Revitalize Your Church – Part 2

Last time, we introduced the first of our five questions:

QUESTION 1: How do we engage new people?

Now that you’ve had some time to think about the various ways your congregation engages new people, let’s assume that you need to find some additional ways. After all, your current level of engagement is what is producing your current level of health and growth so…if you perceive a need for improving in that area, well, we’ve arrived at a first step.

Who should your congregation be engaging?

We could certainly start with the people you are already connecting with, but not truly engaging. For example, imagine the “contact list” of just one of your congregation members. Nearly all of us know what such a list is all about–names that dot our iPhone contacts, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and so much more. Among those names are family members, coworkers, neighbors, and many others we have gathered under the label of “friends.” Now, your people are contacting such folks all week, but are they engaging them for kingdom purposes?

For your congregation to spring forth in new life, you’re going to need to engage some new people, and there’s no better place to start than with those your people are connecting with already. So, how can you help them be more successful in such engagement? At our church, we held a “Single Mom Care Day” where we encouraged our people to invite all the single moms they knew to a day of being “spoiled” by our church. They invited and came with their single mom friends, enjoying a day of free stuff (haircuts, clothes, food, school supplies, oil changes, and other services). These ladies were their friends, so we created an environment where their church helped them bless their friends. Many single moms were in tears at the abundant help they were given, and who did they thank? Their friend! You can imagine how much easier the deeper conversations flowed after that.

A second place to engage new people is in the church’s physical neighborhood. Too many churches no longer reflect or maintain a connection to their immediate neighbors. But these are the folks within walking distance of our gatherings. They’re literally “right there” to receive love and friendship, so maybe we can find some ways to do that together. Why not sponsor a project that the neighbors would benefit from? Maybe a block party? Maybe a yard cleanup day? Maybe a neighborhood BBQ competition?

Finally, I’m a big fan of finding ways to take your congregation’s strengths outside your walls. Do what you do well, just do it “out there.” Maybe take one of your excellent teachers and set her up in a community room, teaching marriage or parenting stuff. You could take your musicians to the park and give a community concert. What if your quality children’s workers prepared an event for the local elementary school? You could have your best cooks bless the community with bake sales where the cookies are FREE! Better yet, leave some of those cookies in the teacher’s lounges at your local school.

You see, the goal is to engage people and find ways to do it together. The more answers you find to our first question, How do we engage new people?, the sooner you’ll find yourself on a road toward a healthier day. Remember that outward focus is the necessary catalyst for greater church health.

In our next blog, we’ll tackle the second of our five questions…

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