Posts Tagged connection

Group Connect: What? Why? How?

Group Connect will be this coming Sunday, February 3, for the Brentwood Campus. Now’s a good time to consider the in’s and out’s of such events.
What? Group Connect is a morning event that elevates our value of being connected in biblical community as a premier catalytic disciple-making vehicle and provides easy access to joining a group.
Why? Because biblical community is such a catalytic transformative vehicle, we must both cast vision for their significance and provide easy on-ramps for our unconnected members as well as our lost and searching friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Group Connect is an incredibly easy on-ramp for the unconnected long-time attender and the new attender.
How? We have 10-15 group leaders, particularly new group leaders, lined in the hallway to invite and receive new group members for a 6-week trial basis. To that end, Group Connect is used primarily for launching new groups, relaunching existing groups that are reorienting, and then landing those unconnected individuals that our accumulated data (think targeted invite) from the previous semester dictate. If your group is not represented at Group Connect, then please know that we ARE still sending folks to you through our on-campus LIFE Groups booths throughout the building, our text-to-connect number, our “plan a visit” link on the website, our “more information” link on the website, and the spontaneous seeker. But you and I also know that nothing beats personal invitation, so encourage your group members to invite their friends, neighbors, and co-workers along with them. We also encourage you to reach out to those on your rosters who have not attended in over a month.
Please pray for our community in 37027 and your local community wherever you are. Brentwood, as well as surrounding areas, are seeing tremendous growth of young families and out-of-staters move in. Many, if not most, statistically, of these individuals are unchurched and have no relationship with or desire for a local community of believers. They will not naturally come to us barring a crisis in their life. We must go to them. Pray about starting a group in your neighborhood. Pray about empowering someone in your current group to start a group in their neighborhood. Pray to partner with us to begin strong, biblical communities ready to engage the lost and searching of 37027 and beyond in every neighborhood.

The Importance of a Warm Welcome

By Jay Fennell

I can recall a time when my wife and I were visiting Sunday School classes in a church. We were newlyweds and had recently moved to Texas from South Carolina to attend seminary. We were lonely and homesick. We had no connections, no friends, and no church home, and we desperately needed a place to belong. We visited a few classes for young couples and didn’t feel a connection. The classes we visited were friendly, but we quickly learned that they weren’t interested in being our friend, and you can tell the difference. They had room in the classroom for us but not much room in their hearts. Frustrated, we prayed that God would provide us a Christian community with which we could grow in our faith and serve the church. We were looking for a family!
God answered our prayer and led us to visit a new group for young marrieds. As we approached the room, we immediately noticed lively interaction. The couples were connecting relationally and were genuinely enjoying one another. As we walked in the door, we were immediately greeted warmly by a couple who introduced themselves and thanked us for coming. They were wearing nametags, so that made it easier to remember people because it put a face to a name. We were introduced to other couples, all wearing nametags. The people of the group were sincerely grateful we were there. By the end of the morning, we knew we had found the group where we wanted to invest, grow and serve.
The first minute of our visit was so crucial. This group had one minute to make a good first impression, and they passed with flying colors because they cared enough to acknowledge us when we walked in the door. Their most hospitable and bubbly people were placed at the door to welcome everyone, members and guests alike. But they gave special attention to guests and made sure that we were warmly welcomed and made to feel important. They didn’t neglect the people that God had brought to their group.
How good are you at warmly welcoming each person every time you gather for LIFE Group? Your group’s success at retaining guests might be determined by your intentionality in warmly welcoming newcomers. I cannot stress how important that is and encourage you to ensure that each person is greeted and welcomed each time you gather. It meant a lot to me and my wife, and I know it means a lot to others, as well.