Name tags? How many of you received a name tag or badge when you joined the church? Maybe a better question is, "How many of you know where your name badge is?" If you are anything like me, you remember one Sunday to wear it, put it in your pocket after church, and then are looking for it the following Sunday, clueless to where you last put it.
Last week, I shared that the Connecting Ministries Team is beginning to think about what are the needs of people at our five different stages (Before Guests Visit, First-Time Guests, Repeat Guests, Belonging, and Reconnecting). We discussed that we essentially have to be able to talk about why people need First Church before they ever visit our campus. What's in it for them?
A few weeks ago, I shared with y'all that the Connecting Ministries Team is looking at a 5-stage model (Before Guests Visit, 1st Time Guests, Repeat Guests, Belonging, and Reconnecting). Over the next few weeks, we will begin to talk about what the Connecting Ministries Team sees as the needs, or what individuals might be asking themselves during each stage.
As I've begun working with a team to really begin to think about how we connect people with each other and how we connect people with God, there was a realization that we had to create a process, something to guide our purpose. Essentially, we need to answer how we are going to live into our why, our purpose.
Over the past few weeks, as I have moved into the Connecting Ministries Role, I have spent some time reading, hoping to learn "best practices" or discover what other churches are doing to connect with their guests. Over the last month, I've read numerous blogs, “Beyond the First Visit” by Gary McIntosh, “Clip In” by Jim Ozier, and “Get Their Name” by Bob Farr and, what I have noticed is that no one really is using the term "visitors" as it pertains to those who come to check out a worship, small group, or any other ministry. Instead, they use the term "guest."
A couple of weeks ago, Pastors Steve and Yvonne introduced the idea of Connecting Ministries to the congregation, in replace of the Evangelism and Hospitality role we, as a church, have discussed over the past several years. What Pastor Yvonne shared was as the Staff Parish team and the pastors deliberated over the role, they realized it was more about connecting, about intentionally developing relationships with particular groups of people—those who have never stepped foot on our beautiful campus, those who are our first-time guests, those who are our regular guests, and those seeking a place to belong.