Posts Tagged outreach

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.

Group First Impressions: Armen’s Take

By Paul Wilkinson

As I contemplated the blog for this week, it struck me that I have with me an example of someone who walked into a group without any prior information and stuck to it. Armen is interning in the Adult Discipleship department with me. If you haven’t met him yet, then you will be meeting him in the near future (and if you want a PhD Theologian to chat with, contact him!). I encouraged Armen to visit a group that fits his demographic and compare it with some of the other groups that he had visited on the Brentwood campus and groups he experienced elsewhere. Armen truly felt as if he belonged to the group and has continued to engage with them: building relationships, substitute teaching, and helping with outreach. Here were the 3 major sticking points for Armen:

  • Community Feel
    • I felt encouraged by seeing a group of people who are trying to seek Christ.
  • Strong Teaching
    • A teacher who seeks to tell me what the Bible is saying, and challenging me by asking: are you living out the Bible’s teaching?
  • Big to Small
    • The group made a big church like Brentwood Campus feel small, especially, when I would see people in the hallways that I knew from group (not to mention them sitting together in worship service!).

Keep these points in mind. We do them very well as groups, but we could always make subtle improvements. Do you invite visitors to sit with you in worship or into smaller care groups? Do you have some outreach, invitation initiatives going? What are a few things that you could push between now and summer that might turn GREAT into REALLY GREAT!!
Paul Wilkinson is the Adult Minister–Groups Associate, Brentwood Baptist Church.