Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ten Minute Party

How many first-time guests are in attendance here at Grace Church on a weekly basis? It’s really hard to gauge exactly but we do have an idea. There have been two times on a regular non-holiday Sunday that we have put a survey on every chair in the auditorium in order to get a feel for who is attending Grace. Both times that we have done this we have discovered that there were between 40-50 people who marked that they were a first time guest to Grace that morning. This would not include those in the auditorium that did not fill out the survey nor would it include any of their children that were not in the main auditorium that Sunday. So I think it is more than safe to say that at the very minimum on any given non-holiday or special event Sunday we have at least 50 first time guests.

We have found that the vast majority of these guests do not fill out a connection card. I have also discovered that my standing in the foyer as the services let out and trying to quickly greet as many of the hundreds of people coming out of the service as possible is simply not very effective (unless I was running for office). So beginning this month we are going to experiment with a concept that we hope will allow us to make individual contact with more of our first-time guests. We are calling it “The Ten Minute Party.”

We saw this concept out at Erwin McManus’ church (Mosaic) in Los Angeles when our ministry staff was out west for conference two summers ago. Immediately following the service, all the first time guests were invited back stage for a “Ten Minute Party” to enjoy some refreshments and to personally meet the pastor and those individuals who were part of the stage ministry that morning.

We are going to try this “Ten Minute Party” concept on December 23 and January 20. On those 2 Sundays we will invite all those who are new to Grace Church that morning or new over the last couple of weeks to Room 203 located right behind the stage immediately following both worship services for refreshments and an opportunity to personally meet myself, Pastor Tim, Matt McElravy and the vocalists who were on stage that morning. It is our hope and prayer that this will allow us to better connect with our guests and to personally invite them to consider taking Core Class 101 which gives an overview of the main beliefs and purpose of our church. If this is successful, we will plan to have a “Ten Minute Party” one Sunday morning each month.

How does this affect you? On a positive note, it will allow you to encourage guests that you invite to church to come back to Room 203 on the mornings we are having our “Ten Minute Party” so that we can personally meet and connect with them. On the negative side, we would ask that unless you are bringing back a new guest that you do not come back to Room 203 these mornings as the room is limited in size. Pastor Tim and I will still be available at the entrance of the auditorium the 15 minutes prior to the start of each service to be able to greet and mingle with everyone else. Please be praying that God will use these “Ten Minute Parties” that will take place monthly to help us more effective meet people where they are and move them to where God wants them to be.

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