John Gilman is the Senior Director of Marketing at ACS Technologies and is chiefly responsible for marketing’s overall corporate strategy and direction. He has traveled the world many times over working with some of America’s top brands and prominent non-profit ministries. John is passionate about helping the church make disciples.
Visitors come and visitors go, but successful churches create systems that make it easy for them to stay. Visitors come to church for different reasons; they may like the worship, want to hear the pastor, or think your kids' ministry is great. But visitors stick around for one reason - relationships. Churches must create a culture and put systems in place that build relationships that transform visitors into engaged members.
Recently, a friend of mine began to plant a church in a city 700 miles away from his current church where he knew no one. He is either really brave or incredibly oblivious. He has read most of the books, investigated many planting models, and planted a successful church before.
I remember watching a friend lead a church planting team that was made up of some unlikely friends.
He had a diverse team. He had 19-year-old college students, married couples in their 30’s with young kids, professionals, and older adults in their early 70’s who just retired. It seemed to be a lot of fun. They ate together, they prayed together, and worked hard to reach their community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I learned a few things about communication from watching this diverse group. I learned that a good leader must communicate well in order to lead well.
It’s tempting to waive the white flag, to throw your hands up in surrender, to the summer slump. Many churches simply resign their efforts and re-appropriate them in the fall. First on the chopping block of suspended ministries are groups. It’s almost expected that groups will take a break during the summer months. But, doing so can have costly consequences if you aren’t prepared.
Much of the work that was put into groups, building relationships, and developing community is lost during the break.
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