Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Staying in the Game

For the final inning of our "spring training", the topic is staying in the game. Previous innings have included first impressions, connection cards, and follow up with guests. To close out the game, it's time to look at what Nelson Searcy calls "The Three Rs of Retention".

When first time guests walked through your front door, your initial goal was to earn return visits from them. When they did return, your goal evolved. you wanted to introduce them to environments and situations that would encourage them to build relationships. As they moved from first-timers to second-timers and new regular attenders, your thinking began to shift from Return to Relationships.

Now that they have made some friends and become true regular attenders, your thinking must once again shift - this time from Relationships to Responsibility. Responsibility will be the catalyst that moves them from regular attendance to membership.

How to you achieve responsibility? Searcy suggests that there are three effective ways to encourage your attenders toward membership:
  1. Through multiplying service opportunities
  2. Through teaching
  3. Through regular sign-ups
It doesn't matter how well the sermon is or how passionate your worship team is - if your newcomers do not find relationships and take on responsibility within the church, they will not stay for long.
  • Return
  • Relationships
  • Responsibility

If you want to stay in the game, these three words have to be drilled into your head, worked out in your own church situation, and practiced on a weekly basis.

For complete details, be sure to check out Searcy's book "Fusion" and look at the accompanying website.

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