Our family experienced a temporary life transition that involved us moving to another state in the US for a period of four months.
We left our work, our church that we are planting, our friends and support networks.
During this temporary time, we chose a local church in the community we lived in.
We chose to not shop for a church.
This put us in a real life experience of being the first time visitor in a church.
And the second time visitor, and so on.
It also allowed us to experience the challenges of getting connected to a local church.
Too busy to make friends on Sunday
The small window of time between services and the start of Sunday school was too busy.
We had to
- navigate their large building to find our kids after the service,
- get some coffee in the fellowship hall, and
- press through the tight crowd that forms in the hallways between the services.
After three visits, we began to wonder, how do we go about making new friends?
Listen in on my church visit
I wrote about our experience for the January 2013 issue of Net Results Magazine. In this video, I’m interviewed by the editors, Bill Tenny-Brittian, and his wife Kris, for an episode of Church Talk.
After a few weeks, the “wow” factor of awesome church hospitality has faded.
The visitor’s question now becomes one of the following:
- Can I make new friends here?
- Can I make a difference in the world here?
- Can Jesus meet me?
- Can I give financially to support this church’s mission?
On the assumption that you have a church visitor or new family making the effort to come back for a few weeks, my experience raises the question:
How can a church guide a visitor to an easy and low commitment next step?
This is the central question of any visitor connection process.
We must be intentional in helping new comers find their way into our church family and make easy pathways for that to occur.
Programmatic expressions might differ, but the question remains the same:
In the comment field below, would you contribute your answer?
What is a simple and low commitment next step that a repeat church visitor can take to build new relationships?