Christine Birch has been part of three large churches in both Canada and the US. How do you connect people in a large church and how do you connect them at your church? Christine shares her experiences on both sides of the border as they apply to large and small churches alike.
A Mission Partner
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3 Insights from This Episode
1. Posture your church so that guests feels expected and accepted
People assume that community will just happen organically, but no matter the size of your church it takes intentionality and hustle. Size doesn’t have anything to do with how warm or cold a church can feel to a new attender and church staff must develop a welcoming posture to ensure a guest feels expected and accepted.
2. Make your follow up with new guests quick, personal and generous
Connexus Church has a great system for following up with guests. It isn’t time consuming and offers personal notes with generous gestures to make people feel welcomed into community. Here’s an overview your church can use and modify to fit your needs.
First Sunday: Connections Card & Small Gift (example: coffee mug)
Week One: Handwritten Post Card from a volunteer, Bombbomb Email from Campus Pastor, Personal Phone Call from a staff member
Week Two (Attender): Hand written, stamped and addressed Note with Gift Card
Week Two (Absent): If a family doesn’t return, mail a hand stamped and addressed Letter with incentive to return (example: coupon for a free book)
If attenders opt in to receive emails, send regular invitations to attend a new members style class and any current events happening on campus.
3. Honouring the personal space and privacy of attendees shows them respect and protects your church, too
Never force attendees to identify themselves. Instead, respect personal space by allowing them to remain anonymous until they feel comfortable being known. In the mean time, make sure that those next steps are clear and easily available so people can engage your church when they are ready.
If people have volunteered email addresses to receive information about your church you have the responsibility to continue communicating to them until they opt out, but take the time to learn
Quotes from This Episode
The average church sees 1 in 10 of their first time guests return. – Christine Birch
Our follow up should be generous. – Christine Birch
Persistence is a good virtue. – @cnieuwhof
Does Church in Canada Have to Stay Small?
So you would love to reach more people, but how? Your church just can’t seem to sustainably grow past the 200 barrier.
You’re reaching new families every month, but it’s like pouring water into a leaking bucket: you just can’t grow past your current plateau. What gives?
So many leaders who try to break it either get stuck at 50, 100 or 200 in attendance or burned out in the process of trying.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Believe it or not, the reasons most churches never break 200 aren’t spiritual reasons, they’re practical reasons. Strategic reasons.
The course tackles eight key issues that keep churches from passing the 200 barrier and beyond. It includes:
- 8 videos designed to guide you and your leadership team through all the key growth barriers smaller churches face.
- 150 page downloadable workbook for you and your team.
- 12 licenses, so you can take your entire team through it—board, staff, key volunteers—whoever you want (that’s about $20 a person).
- A bonus cheat sheet with access to 20 free resources designed to take you further.
- A private Breaking 200 Facebook Group access exclusive to the first 1000 purchasers.
So whether your church is 50, 150 or 250 in attendance, the principles will help you gain the insight you need to break the barrier more than 85% of churches can’t break.
The podcast releases the first Monday of every month.
Plus, I host a weekly podcast called the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. Subscribe below and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.
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Next Episode: Brett Ullman
Mental health is not a subject we discuss well in the church. But at any given time, about 20% of your church and leaders are struggling with various mental health issues. Brett Ullman, a nationally respected speaker and authority on parenting and teens, talks about how his struggles started and how to respond in the church and in leadership when mental health issues arise.