141 New 2018 Members Need You!
141 new members in 2018! That’s amazing! But, how many will still be attending and active in one year? How many will still attend at all in two years?
We cannot pat ourselves on the back and assume now that they’re members, our responsibilities are completed. No! We, the members of Christ’s Greenfield, have a purpose to help new members truly grow in faith and community. We need to individually reach out to them to help make them feel a part of a very warm and caring family. Don’t just leave it up to a new member to be “self-starting,” or leave it up to our staff to welcome and guide them into ministries and relationships. Each one of us, as family members, should love and care for them.
Let me tell you a little about these 2018 new members. First, the 141 are communicant members, so young children aren’t even included in the 141. The average age of communicant members in this group is about 48. Broken down by age there are 22 in their teens and 20s, 50 in their 30s and 40s, 49 in their 50s and 60s, and 20 in their 70s and 80s. We also welcomed in membership 32 more communicant members on February 3, 2019!
Why am I giving you this information about the new members? It is because you have been called by God to treat them like new family – meet them, welcome them, become friends and invite them into your journey groups & fellowship activities. They come from all different ages, some are single, many have young kids, and some may be from your hometown. You’re bound to find someone who shares your passions and interests. You will be blessed, and be a blessing, in getting to know them.
Perhaps you’ve assumed that amazing worship and preaching is enough to keep people coming back forever. After all, that’s what attracted them here in the first place. In an amazing video shown to our Journey Group leaders, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church said this: “People come to the church to hear the pastor, but they stay in the church because of relationships.” Rick Warren emphatically stated that small groups are not a program at Saddleback Church. Rather they are the church! From his perspective, people worship in large groups, but they must fellowship in small groups.
True, we have amazing pastors and amazing worship experiences, but many of these 141 new members will lose interest in attending, or find another church with amazing pastors and worship experiences. I truly believe Rick Warren is absolutely right – people stay in a church because of relationships.
One of our goals in Starting Point is to begin to develop relationships – relationships among new members, as well as relationships with the many church ministry leaders who come to speak with them. Truly, many relationships begun in the class continue to grow and blossom.
We also nurture close relationships through our Discover Class which follows Starting Point. Beginning this year, we have shortened the Starting Point and the Discover classes to just four sessions each so that we may encourage more folks to continue right from Starting Point into Discover.
Our church has made a major commitment under Director of Family Life Development, Trey Cox, to grow, train, and equip Journey Groups – a huge factor in promoting relationships. Vicar Jeff Sutherlin is our coordinator for connecting people with journey groups.
Now that they are members, what can you do? Journey group leaders (shepherds) – take the time to learn who the new members are and invite them to your group. Remember to coordinate closely with Vicar Jeff Sutherlin, our Journey Group connections coordinator.
Service and fellowship ministry leaders – take the time to learn who they are and invite them into your group. Everyone – be a friend, look for new folks in the courtyard to meet and talk with.
To help you identify new members, we do post a photo board of the most recent new member class in the sanctuary entry, and we have photo sheets of recent new member classes available at the visitor information kiosk.
So, how many of the 141 will become strong, active and involved members? How many will fade away or move on? You can make a difference in their lives! You see them in church services, you see them in the courtyard, you see them at coffee and snack time.
You need to encourage them into fellowship! Go, meet, welcome, make friends, guide, invite! Be the best church family anyone can imagine!