Spiritual growth is of highest priority, and numerical growth is important too. Preparing messages, organizing discipleship methods, praying and preparing for worship are vital during the week-to-week labor of ministry. Also important are the following four maneuvers that draw people so that you can help them grow spiritually. Four weekly maneuvers that most often go overlooked:
- Follow Up with New Guests. I have often heard it said that a new guest needs five touches after a first visit. If a new guest leaves their information during the visit then they are expecting contact that week. Here are some ideas: (1) a welcome letter from the church office, (2) a handwritten letter from someone in leadership, (3) a phone call from a church member, (4) a scheduled visit to their home, (5) an e-mail (or message on social media) from church staff as to direct questions, (6) a text message if they provided a mobile number, (7) a small gift sent from a small group to their home, (8) a phone call from the pastoral staff.
- Follow Up with Absent Attenders. Do you have a method to keep up with those that regularly attend? What happens to a family that experiences crisis, disagreement or sickness and they do not communicate the situation to others? Do you notice their absence? They will notice if you do not notice. If we truly care about the spiritual growth of others then we should be concerned if they do not show up. Here are a couple of ideas: (1) set up a team or small group to keep up with folks. If someone is absent two weeks in a row then they would get a phone call or e-mail to check on them. (2) create a method that attenders can quickly communicate to leadership/staff when an emergency/crisis develops. If the attendee is upset and leaves then the quick follow up will allow the church leadership to dispel any issues.
- Welcoming New Guests. For good or bad, hospitable and inhospitable acts are often used to measure the authenticity of a Christian ministry. Most often new guests will measure the overall ministry of the church by their children’s enjoyment, dress code, worship enthusiasm and hospitality. Hospitality toward new guests is a key factor when someone is looking for a place of worship. Here are some ideas: (1) develop a welcome team that greets everyone and gives everyone pertinent information (i.e. directions, programs, etc.), (2) every new guest gets a small gift to say welcome, (3) do not make them raise their hand or stand during service, (4) have a prayer from the platform asking God to bless all of the new guests.
- Encouraging the Workers. Gratitude creates generosity. Someone is more likely to give resource and time when they feel appreciated. Here are some ideas: (1) church leaders handwritten letters of appreciation to servants of the church, (2) celebrating certain groups of ministers with a dinner or banquet, (3) recognize hard workers during a public service, (4) pray for these hard workers, (5) schedule visits with them just to hang out and say thank you.