Posts Tagged My Church Growth

The Church Visitor Welcome Scale

By Rev. Rick Robinson

What happens to a church visitor (perhaps you call them guest or newcomers) when they attend your church for the first time? Most people don’t think about that question very often, they just assume a newcomer will feel like they fit in with the crowd.

I want to give you a church growth tool we use at Church Growth Associates to help bring a newcomer into the assimilation process of your church. When we do either an iConsultation or an onsite consultation, we use ratios and factors to diagnose your church and find out where your growth mix is. When it comes to church growth, Jesus made it clear that we are to be about the great commission. We cannot sit around and expect new people to show up in the volume it will take to achieve biblical growth.

Matthew 28:19-20
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It is impossible to grow a church without new people, making church visitors the lifeline for the future. Keep in mind this simple church growth principle; no visitors–no growth. Twenty five percent of first all time visitors should become active members of a church within a year, while seventy five percent of second time visitors should become members within a year. We must give honest evaluation as to how newcomers are treated when they attend.

Colossians 4:5
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

One of the tools you can use to help keep people coming back is the visitor welcome scale. There are six actions on this scale, each given a point value. The greater influence the action has on the church visitor, the higher the point value, with a total of 3320 possible points for completing all six actions. Below are the six actions with the point values listed.

1. A smile from someone. This has been assigned a 10-point value. This is so simple everyone should be doing it already.

2. A greeting from someone nearby. This also has a value of 10 points. Most of the churches in American would not score more than the first twenty points. If there were no official “greeting time” in the service, many would not even get this far.

3. Exchange of names. This carries a 100-point value. We start building more of an assimilation environment when we become more personal. Your guest must perceive this is the church where they can make friends and fit in. Remember that if a person does not make seven friends the first year, they probably won’t be there the second year.

4. An invitation to return. This is worth 200 points. You can also invite them to other church events and activities. Doing this at the end of the service will make the introduction time you spent with them more sincere, since you did not run away to talk with your friends when church was over. Instead, apply the next action.

5. Introduction to another member. This is a 1000 point action. The newcomer is going to begin seeing this church is a place they will fit in quickly and call their church home.

6. Introduction to the pastor. This is the highest point value on the scale at 2000 points. Some pastors stand at the exit of the church and greet people on the way out; you may have other ways to interact with people. At my home church, Idlewild Baptist Church, here in Tampa, Pastor Ken Whitten has a “Pastor on the veranda” time after each service on Sunday morning. This is a time where volunteer deacons and their wives meet and greet new visitors on the veranda, give them an informational DVD about the ministries of the church and introduce them to the pastor.

All of these actions combined will give you a total of 3320 points. Let me ask you how many points did you earn last Sunday? How many are you going to earn this Lord’s day? When you use this simple tool, you will set the newcomer on the assimilation path to a meaningful and productive church experience. To learn more about church growth ideas and strategies be sure to visit the iLibrary on our website at http://MyChurchGrowth.com/library and our PowerPoint central (members only area) for additional helpful church growth tools.

To see if Church Growth Associates can help your church, click here;  Can Church Growth Associates help my church? A consultant will contact you to hear your story.

Rev. Rick Robinson is a church growth consultant helping churches of all sizes with church growth and evangelism strategies.

http://MyChurchGrowth.com

 

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

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Hidden Signs

By Rev. Rick Robinson

Church Growth Associates, Inc.

Are you looking for simple church growth ideas that will be worth your time? Part of your church growth strategy should be an evaluation of hidden signs. What is a hidden sign? Most people would answer that perhaps by describing a sign that is hidden by the over growth of a bush. Yes, that is a hidden sign all right, but in church growth terms there are other types of hidden signs. A hidden sign is what we are communicating to others without trying or thinking about it. That is the problem with hidden signs, we don’t think about them.

A church I worked with a while back had one of those molded plastic lighted signs out front that someone had thrown a rock through. I asked, “What does the sign out front say?” Someone responded, “It says we are closed!” They got the point. The sign was in plain view, but yet it was a hidden sign. What does the sign say when a first time visitor arrives to worship only to find no designated parking for your guest? Designated guest parking area signs send the message, “You are welcome here, we were expecting you!” No designated parking communicates, “We found our parking, you find yours!” What does no handicap access to your church communicate to those with special needs? Is there an accessible ramp and reserved parking areas? Do you have signs placed around your church to show newcomers how to find the restrooms, pastors’ office and other important areas that may make them feel like a part of your church instead of an outsider? Is your facility clean and well kept? It doesn’t have to be modern or fancy, Just clean and organized.

Paul wrote about being wise when it comes to outsiders, and in his instructions to Timothy about selecting deacons, he gives a qualification that our church should uphold.

 

Colossians 4:5

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.


1 Timothy 3:7

He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

 

Are you making the most of every opportunity? Look around your church and see how many hidden signs you find.  Many of the hidden signs you will find can be taken care of for little or no cost. This church growth idea will be an investment in your ministry to newcomers and the attitude of your congregation that will be well worth the time, effort, and money.

We can help you with church growth no matter what size your church is now. Click here to have one of our church growth consultants call you to see if we can help your church grow.

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See how we can help you with an iConsultation or an Onsite Consultation.

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

http://MyChurchGrowth.com

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The Simplicity of Writing a Mission Purpose Statement

Rev. Rick Robinson

Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The mission purpose statement of a church is a very important part of your church growth mix. One of the reasons people drop out of church is from a lack of affinity. When people don’t know what the purpose of the church is, it will lead to confusion, fragmentation, and disappointment. This lack of affinity goes virtually undetected and cost the church unknown times in members, because it is often an overlooked part of the growth mix.

Philippians 2:1-2

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

So what is a mission purpose statement? Before making church growth plans for the future we must have an understanding of where God wants us to go. The direction God wants us to go, is our mission purpose statement. Isn’t that a simple enough concept? Don’t get the mission purpose statement and the plan or church growth strategies of accomplishing your mission confused. This is where most churches go wrong, and why most mission purpose statements are of no use. Your mission purpose statement is a very important part of your church growth mix, since it is the anchor of what you do. All your church growth ideas and strategies will be based on that mission.

In my home church, Idlewild Baptist Church, we have four words that explain our mission. This is the best example I can give you, and I didn’t write it. (I wish I had.)

The four words are:

  • Attract
  • Connect
  • Grow
  • Serve

 

Wow! What more do you need to communicate your purpose as a church. Not only is it simple and easy to remember, it is also in order of a continuous cycle. Notice how short and simple this example is. How does it compare to others you have seen or heard?

You may be asking if the mission purpose statement is really that important. Would you buy property, build a factory, and hire a thousand workers without telling them what they were to build? Keep in mind, telling the factory workers what they are to build and how they are to build it, is two different things. In the same way, we cannot expect to mobilize a church by letting everyone presume what our joint purpose is.

I want to share this story that was first published about fourteen years ago in one of our church growth newsletters. In my daily travels I am in hundreds of churches each year for various reasons. During the week I was gathering notes to write “How To Write A Mission Purpose Statement”, the Lord gave me an interesting experience. As I entered one church office, the secretary asked me to wait a moment while she answered the phone. I could not help but hear the answers given promptly by the secretary to the obvious prospective visitor on the other end of the line. The time of worship, the location of the church, the style of worship, and the mission purpose statement. Yes, they asked the mission purpose statement of the church. The secretary answered all the questions with enthusiasm, even that last one about the mission purpose statement.

I wondered how many secretaries, receptionist, even ministerial staff around the country would have been able to answer that question? Could your staff answer that question? How many of your members could answer that question? Could you even answer that question?

I felt as though God had put me there in that church at that very time to hear this conversation. It was a great experience, although I have opportunity to see many mission purpose statements throughout the year. Some are very good, and others, an attorney and an insurance agent together would have trouble reading those documents. (No offense to you professionals!)

Sometime last year as I worshipped in a Wednesday evening church service with excess of 1,000 in attendance, the pastor did something I had never seen before. He took some money out of his wallet, held it up and said, “If anyone can quote the mission purpose statement, I will give this to you.” The response would have made an extremely boring episode of the game show, Jeopardy. This church has published the mission purpose statement on every bulletin, so it is available to all members and guests. The “winner” of the pastor’s money was only “close enough” to the idea of the mission purpose statement.

Why could so many people not respond? In my estimation the mission purpose statement of that church is too long. In writing a mission purpose statement, don’t make it difficult to remember. Don’t use reams of paper, just keep it short and simple. You don’t want to confuse your mission with your technique or tactics.

How does a church get started? The first thing I would suggest is preaching sermons dealing with the subject. This will prepare the church for the process. A scriptural basis, is a must. There are resources available to help with this important task. One resource is the workbook, “Planning For The Next Five Years In A Southern Baptist Church”. If your not a Southern Baptist like I am, it will still be a useful resource, but this article may well be enough to help you.

Next, prepare a tentative mission purpose statement. You may be using a long range planning committee to do this depending on how your church is structured. If a committee of sorts will be preparing the statement, each member of that committee should write their own statement to be reviewed and edited later in the group.

Here are some suggestions for editing the statement:

  • Does your statement match the mandate of Jesus Christ?
  • Be certain the wording is simple.
  • Will this statement communicate clearly the direction the church will take in the future?
  • Is the statement brief enough for the average church
  • Be certain the statement defines the direction God wants the church to go and not the methods to be used to get there.

 

Once the process is complete, more ownership should be generated through circulating the statement to deacons, church counsel, and other groups. Discuss with them the tentative statement.

We have a great statement, now what? You are ready to present the mission statement to the church for adoption. Once approved, publish it on everything possible. Above all, use it to determine actions the church will participate in. If the action does not work toward accomplishing the mission, then it should not be considered as an official activity of the church. Imagine every activity of the church working toward your mission. Would your church become less like a club house and become a more powerful force in your community? The answer is yes!

I pray this lesson will help you to understand the mission purpose statement and bring a confidence to tackle the task of revising or writing a mission purpose statement for the first time. You can use it as a guideline, adjusting the details to fit your church environment. Following these simple guidelines, you will be able to lead your church in creating an effective and useful mission purpose statement.

To see if Church Growth Associates can help your church, click here;  Can Church Growth Associates help my church? A consultant will contact you to hear your story.

Rev. Rick Robinson is a church growth consultant helping churches of all sizes with church growth and evangelism strategies. Check out our iconsultations and Onsite Consultations   http://MyChurchGrowth.com

 

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Where the complexity of church growth intersects with the simplicity of the gospel

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