We’ve all seen the studies that show that people are more afraid of speaking in public than they are of dying, right? Or…you’ve at least heard that statistic referenced in a sermon. But what about when it comes to grouplife? What are unconnected people really afraid of? Here’s what I remind my team about all the time:
When we’re designing connecting opportunities, we need to keep in mind that for many unconnected men and women…just driving into the church parking lot and getting out of their cars for the first time was really scary.
Now, I’ll admit that there are people who move to a new church and never think twice about it. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the people that finally act on an invitation to give your church a try…and pull into your parking lot not knowing what lies ahead.
That is scary. Where do we go? What will it be like? Will the people be friendly? Will it be really boring?
It’s a scary experience. I think we can all empathize, at least to a degree.
What I think we miss sometimes, and this is what I talk with my team about, is that in many cases their second greatest fear is even scarier! What’s their second greatest fear? I think it’s leaving the comfortable anonymity of your auditorium and showing up at a stranger’s front door to join a small group! Queue the Psycho sound effect.
You see it, right? So…what can we do about it?
An On-Campus Connecting Event’s Major Advantage
While it is almost always really scary to show up at a stranger’s front door, it’s much safer to walk from the auditorium to an on-campus connecting event like a small group connection. I may not know anyone in the room, but at least I know where the room is. I may not really be looking forward to talking to strangers…but at least we’ll all be in a neutral territory. I may not know what’s going to happen…but at least everyone’s in the same boat!
Before you jump to any conclusions, I love the HOST strategy and it’s ability to connect neighbors, friends, family members and co-workers. When I’m invited to join a group meeting in a friend’s living room…it’s a totally different experience.
What we’re talking about here is that while some percentage of unconnected adults will go online and use your small group finder or walk up to a booth in the lobby and ask how to join a group, they’re not the majority. If you want to connect people no one else is connecting, you’re going to have to keep their needs and concerns in mind as you plan your connecting opportunities.
Can you see it? If you want to connect 150% of your weekend adult attendance, you’re going to need to take advantage of both on-campus opportunities (like the small group connection) and decentralized, off-campus strategies (like HOST).
Want do you think? Have a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.