Four ways to get people relating more deeply
Spring brings with it a number of come-and-go events at many churches—Easter breakfast, Mother’s Day teas and Father’s Day donut gatherings, graduation and confirmation receptions, and volunteer thank-you meet and greets, to name a few.
Honoring members in this way is a good idea, but how could you step it up from merely good to great? And how might you maximize the assimilation and true fellowship value of events like these?
Research tells us that when members have several strong, established relationships with others in a church, they are less likely to drop away. Still, in many congregations, it’s relatively easy to arrive at the last minute for worship once a week and then quickly disappear into the parking lot, having had no meaningful contact with other worshipers—a weekly Christian “hit and run”!
Part of the joy in the early church (and much of its influence on the surrounding community) came from the relationships of love and care Christians shared. Still today, we experience the joy of what some have called the “one another verses” of the New Testament when we get to know one another on a more personal level so that we can minister to and with each other as the need arises.
Church leaders can use the come-and-go events of spring to foster these kinds of relationships. How? Use these four simple techniques:
- Get your assimilation team or another group of friendly and established members to introduce people to one another.
- Provide name tags; don’t just assume people know each other by name—even if they’ve been going to church together for years.
- Put sheets of icebreaker questions at each table. Include silly or serious questions. For example: What’s your favorite color/season/food/Scripture verse/hymn/Christian song—and why?
Do you like to wear hats? Why or why not?
Tell about your favorite (name the celebration—Easter, graduation, Father’s Day) of all time.
The best pet I ever had was . . . because . . .
The thing that blesses me most at (name your church) is . . . because . . .
- Provide pencils and note cards, and encourage everyone sitting at each table to exchange prayer requests for the upcoming week or even phone numbers and e-mail addresses so they can stay in touch. Encourage them to contact each other at least once before next Sunday.
Do you want to help worshipers break the Sunday “hit and run” habit? Proactively leverage spring events to deepen relationships!