Tuesday, October 24, 2006
In yesterday’s blog we saw that connecting people to our church begins with first impressions right from their first drive onto our parking lot. But along with parking and traffic, the area of first impressions also deals with other important areas such as the outside building and grounds; greeters; ushers; information/guest relations; the condition of our restrooms; housekeeping in general; the foyer/lobby; the children/nursery drop off areas; signage; and even the bulletin.
Connecting people to Grace begins with first impressions, but where does it end? What is our ultimate goal of connecting people to Grace Church? Imagine with me a church where every person is connected through trusting Christ to be their personal Savior and obediently following Him in water baptism. Imagine with me a church where every person is connected by being grounded in the basics of the faith. Imagine with me a church were every person is connected by becoming part of a small group. Imagine with me a church where every person is connected by being involved in an area of ministry. Imagine with me a church where every person is connected by being active in giving financially and sharing their faith. That is what we mean when we say that we want to see every person that God brings to Grace Church become connected.
Is this just something that we made up? Absolutely not. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gives us the Great Commission in which we are given the mandate to make disciples. Our goal is not simply to have crowds attending our services. Our ministry is not successful unless these crowds are becoming fully devoted followers of Christ.
In Acts 2:41-42, we learn that when the church began it included people receiving the Word (they were CONVERTED). They were also baptized (they were COMMITTED). And they were added to the church (they were CONNECTED). That is our goal, to see every person God brings us become Converted, Committed and Connected. According to Acts 2:43-47, this connection took place as every person in the early church was regularly involved in learning the Word of God; in partnering together to help meet each other’s needs; in communion and worship; and in prayer. That’s connection!
As a result, we are taking some specific actions to make connecting people to our church a high priority. With the hiring of Doug Kegarise as our part-time Director of Student Ministries, we have freed up some of Andy Brightbill’s responsibilities in order to focus attention on this much needed area. Andy is leading what we have called up until now an “Assimilation Task Force.” We are now calling this our “Connections Task Force.”
This Task Force has been given the assignment of developing a connections strategy and implementing that strategy to fulfill all of the goals listed above. This is a huge task but one that is of great importance to the health and effectiveness of our church. Please be praying for this Task Force and for our church as we seek to connect people from being a visitor in the parking lot to being a fully devoted follower of Christ here at Grace!