At Canyon Ridge we want to provide next steps for every Ridger and first steps for their friends. The essence of the idea is that when you think about the various kinds of people who attend your church, each of the various kinds of people would require their own next step.
At Canyon Ridge we want to provide next steps for every Ridger and first steps for their friends. The essence of the idea is that when you think about the various kinds of people who attend your church, each of the various kinds of… Click To Tweet
The simplest way to think about the various kinds of people would be to think about the differences between the never-miss-a-week type and the Christmas and Easter type. Can you see that difference? It's probably very distinct.
Saddleback's concentric circles illustrate the various kinds of people in an easy to understand way. I've provided my own definitions and descriptions of their five categories in another post. Again, the key is in understanding that each of the various category would require their own next step. See also, Clue #2 When Designing Your Small Group System.
Here's my prescription for designing next steps for everyone:
First, begin to assemble a set of characteristics for each of the kinds of people who attend your church.
For example, the congregation are "people that attend more regularly. They may come 2 or 3 times a month. They may serve occasionally (for instance, when you add greeters for Easter). They may give when they attend and many of them may give what they happen to have in their wallet. But mostly, they’re more frequent consumers of what you’re producing."
Note: Saddleback's concentric circle diagram is a good place to start but as your understanding becomes more clear you should begin to notice nuances and expressions unique to your church. For example, I often refer to the fact that those in the outer edge of the congregation are not that different from those in the inner edge of the crowd. I've also found that there's not much difference between those in the crowd and those in the community.
Second, begin to form a set of assumptions about their interests and needs.
It often helps to think about a few actual people that you know who fit in the demographic category. As your understanding of each category grows your assumptions about their interests and needs should become more accurate.
Ask: "What could we offer that would appeal to their interests and meet their needs?"
Ask: "Do we already have anything that will appeal to their interests and meet their needs?"
Third, design a next step for each of the kinds of people who attend your church.
Start by designing a next step for the group you think will be the easiest to target (or the most productive to target). Don't hold out for perfect. The sooner you can test the step you've designed, the sooner you will know whether you have it right.
Note: In the same way that restaurants and retail stores are designed with a different market niche in mind, next steps must be customized to suit the different groups who attend your church.
Fourth, be sure and evaluate the effectiveness of each step.
Your process should be design, test, evaluate and modify. Evaluating the steps you design will help your design become better and more accurate. For example, when we evaluated our first try at a short-term on-campus strategy we realized it would probably help our results if we seated unconnected people together and seated already connected people at a different table. Once we made that change, our results improved dramatically at the very next opportunity. See also, Breaking: North Point Increases GroupLife Participation by Adding an Easier Next Step.
Need help designing next steps and first steps? My newest mini-course might be just what you need. How to Design FIRST Steps and NEXT Steps takes you from concept to action and results.
Image by Seattle Municipal Archives