By “closing the
back door,” we are referring to assimilating or keeping those who have already
become a part of the church. The sad reality is that many churches have less
than one-half of their members show up at any one point. They are “walking out
the back door.”
The process is
not difficult. It just requires execution and persistence. Once begun, these
five steps become a natural flow of the church’s ministry.
a mission statement that includes the importance of members getting
involved in a group. For example, if the mission
statement is “Love God, Connect with Others, Serve Others, and Give
Abundantly,” the second part of the mission statement (“Connect with
Others”) would refer to the importance of a church member getting involved
in a small group, Sunday school class, or some other group.
the importance of groups in your new members’ class.
In fact, some churches actually require the prospective member to connect
with a group as a requisite for membership. This statement obviously
assumes that the church has a new members’ class in place.
certain the church is intentional about starting new groups.
This step is very important if you are diligently moving new members to
groups. New groups, particularly, will be attractive to these new members.
They will not have to break into existing relationship patterns.
a leadership group review the status of new members at least once a
quarter. The ministry staff could take this initiative. Some
church leaders do this review once a month; others do so once a quarter.
One of the primary purposes of this review is to determine if the new
church member has become active in a group.
persistently if a church member is not in a group.
Some churches have a “meal plan” follow-up. They make certain an existing
member of a group takes the new member out to eat, and invites him or her
to join the group. The success rate has been very high.
STEPS ARE SO IMPORTANT
in a group are more likely to read their Bibles regularly. They are more likely
to share their faith. They give more abundantly to the church. And they are
much more likely to “stick” with the church over time. In fact, in earlier
studies, it was found that a member who was in a group was five times more
likely to stick with a church than a member who was not.
So, these five
steps are not some new entrepreneurial discovery. They are basic. They get
people in the Word studying with others. They engender new relational
connections. They create an implicit system of accountability.
And they also
get members to stick.
The back door
Systems has decades of experience working with ministries of all sizes, for
more creative ideas and suggestions contact your Shelby Sales Consultant today!