Tuesday, 29 September 2009

High Sundays 3

Integration – a lesson well-learned!

Seven years ago I visited Willow Creek and it was there I met Marge Anderson. Her responsibility was for the integration of new people into a church which then had 20,000 attending. It was fantastic to find someone so committed to helping new people connect with the local church.

We learnt much from that visit which has helped us to connect new people to Kings. We have discovered that people fall into a number of different categories. Unbelievers we direct to Alpha; Christians who are generally looking for help, in other words, they are hurting and need pastoral care; people looking to connect through serving, and lastly those looking to connect relationally through a small group, or community life.

We can spend hours of time and thousand of pounds on mission activities or just pulling off a great Sunday and not have a way of pastoring the new person into the church.

The model we discovered at Willow Creek was that a phone call and some tracking of the new person increased our connection rate by 100%. Before we started to provide a way of connecting people we would keep about 25% of the new people who showed interest in Kings, since we started phoning and following up more intentionally this has increased to about 50%.

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