Public Service Announcement: If you want to connect unconnected people you’re going to have to create connecting steps that are easy, obvious, and strategic.
Ever notice how often we begin with a crystal clear understanding of a genuine need (for example, lots of unconnected people in our congregation) and end up with a strategy that is sludge-like muddy at best?
Full disclosure…this happens to me, too! I’ve begun developing connecting strategies with clarity many times and by the time the strategy is through all of the hoops…it requires a miraculous Old Testament kind of outcome.
Is there a solution? Yes. Is it a no-brainer? No. If you want to connect unconnected people you’re going to have to create connecting steps that are easy, obvious, and strategic.
Here’s an example:
If you’re setting up a host ask (recruiting hosts for a church-wide campaign) the most productive formula is:
- Senior pastor makes the ask in the message (see How to Make the HOST Ask: the 2012 Version)
- The ask includes pulling out a sign-up form from the bulletin, holding it up, and saying “fill this form out and drop it in the offering in a few minutes.”
- As you’re preparing to take the offering, remind the congregation to “drop the host sign-up form into the offering basket.”
Easy: All the sign-up form asks for is name, phone number, and email. It can be filled out in seconds.
Obvious: It’s in the bulletin. The senior pastor is holding it up for everyone to see.
Strategic: Completed forms go in the offering basket.
Contrast the above with the following:
Bad Option #1: An announcement is used to promote the opportunity to host a group. “If you’d like to host a group, stop off at host central in the lobby and fill out a form.” (An announcement never has the impact as an ask in the senior pastor’s message. Sending potential hosts into the lobby invites a change of mind, putting it off until next week, etc.)
Bad Option #2: Pastor mentions the opportunity in the message by saying, “We have a group curriculum that goes along with our next series. We want everyone to host a group or be in a group. There’s a tear-off in your bulletin that you can give to someone on your way out.” (The absence of specific instructions creates indecision on the part of potential hosts. A tear-off in place of an insert adds the embarrassment of tearing out the form. The invitation to host a group or be in a group insures fewer host sign-ups.)
If you want to connect unconnected people you’re going to have to create connecting steps that are easy, obvious, and strategic.
What do you think? Have an idea? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.