It’s Not the Right Time: Connecting the Fifth Dot

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Yesterday I wrote that most of us have small group ministry issues we just can’t figure out; that most of us feel like there are just some dots that don’t connect to anything.  Still, my contention is that most of the time, they actually do connect.  We just miss the connection between the way we’re doing things and the results we’re experiencing.

I referenced this line from Andy Stanley:

“Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you’re currently experiencing.”

And I gave you the first four dots that I think you might not be connecting.

Here’s the fifth dot:

It’s not the right time…is connected to a lack of understanding that there is always a window closing for the unconnected people in your congregation, crowd and community.

You’re not saying, “It’s not the right time”?  Feel free to substitute any of the following phrases:

  • We need to do a capital campaign this fall, so we’ll delay our church-wide campaign until the spring.
  • We need to lay the foundation for a healthy small group ministry before we add new groups.
  • We need to train new leaders before we even think about starting new groups.
  • We need to build a healthy coaching structure before we add new leaders.

One tough thing away

If you’ve been along for very much of our conversation here, you’ve heard me say many times that “unconnected people are always one tough thing away from not being at your church.  Loss of a job.  Divorce or separation.  A devastating diagnosis.  A child in trouble.”  See also, What’s Your Urgency Level for Connecting People?

An important corollary

Still, you may have missed what I believe is an important corollary idea: Infrequent attendees, are often one service away, one conversation away, one life event away, from deciding to make attending a more regular event.  It may be strange to think of it that way, but it’s the reason so many refer back to an Easter or Christmas Eve service and say “that’s when I really got it.”  Or they might refer to a message series that pulled them in (“We didn’t miss a week during the 40 Days of Purpose”).  See also, A Road Map to Crowd’s Edge.

What we must keep in mind

Can you see it?  Unconnected people are always close to the one thing that will decide their spiritual destiny.  One tough thing away.  One opportunity to connect.  One.  When we delay connecting opportunities, we must always have this reality in mind.

Solution: Make a commitment to the unconnected people in your congregation, crowd and community.  Take your Easter adult attendance (an estimate is fine) and subtract the adults who are truly connected.  What remains are the unconnected people in your crowd.  Write that number where you can see it every day.  Figure out the approximate number of unchurched people in your community.  Write that number where you can see it every day.

Become the advocate for the unconnected people in your congregation, crowd and community.  Take extraordinary steps to see the world from their perspective.  See also, 5 Things You Need to Know about Connecting Unconnected People.

There is an inflection point in the life of every person.  There is a moment, a tough thing, an life-changing event, that determines so much.  There is a closing window.  Take advantage of every opportunity…

What do you think?  Have a question? Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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