Five Practices Of Fruitful Congregations

FIVE PRACTICES OF FRUITFUL CONGREGATIONS BY ROBERT SCHNASE

RADICAL HOSPITALITY

  • Train ushers and greeters to help visitors feel welcome and gain access
  • Create a culture of Christian invitation and welcome in every member
  • Invest time with every ministry to pray, plan for, invite, receive newcomers
  • Communicate in intentional, strategic, open, visitor-friendly ways about the church to the public through mailings, advertising, media, …
  • Follow up with visitors after major events and ongoing invitation is crucial
  • Learn about hospitality from other churches, books, articles and solicitation of feedback from newcomers and continually evaluate your progress
  • Keep lists of visitors on record and utilize in a constant effort to reach out and include them in the life of the church without giving up on any
  • Launch new ministries, classes and groups to reach new people
  • Genuinely engage people, listen to them, make them feel accepted/connected
  • Insure that facilities are visitor friendly, clean, updated and appealing

PASSIONATE WORSHIP

  • Plan and prepare the worship experience well by working together
  • Pastors should put forth their best effort always learning and growing to achieve excellence in preaching
  • Teach people how to pray and worship in every aspect of life and ministry
  • Music needs to be done with excellence, it sets the tone for worship
  • Timing, balance, variation, flow, theme, and movement are all important means to achieve a multi-sensory experience to draw people to worship
  • Actively engage, genuinely connect, personally address and deeply challenge congregants to anticipate and expect God’s presence
  • Pastors and other worship leaders need to nurture their own spiritual lives
  • Connect people in community through worship as they experience common encouragement, exhortation, a sense of belonging, and love
  • Practice and teach the Sacraments in a way that brings them to life
  • Design worship that reaches visitors and woos them into the congregation

INTENTIONAL FAITH DEVELOPMENT

  • Offer traditional SS as well as new opportunities to mature in faith
  • Offer a variety of learning experiences to reach as many as possible
  • Start new groups to invite new people into the development process
  • Highlight the importance of faith development constantly
  • Make good use of available technology to assist in the process
  • Encourage all small groups to incorporate Christian growth
  • Take risks to try new approaches and don’t fear failure
  • Train people well to lead studies, small group discussions, …
  • Ideas shape people and people shape people, content and relationships are both important in the process
  • Inventory and evaluate current programs to assess effectiveness

RISK-TAKING MISSION AND SERVICE

  • Give financial support, but more importantly send people into mission
  • Establish long-term and meaningful relationships with those you are helping
  • Do mission with people, not ministry to them, both groups benefit this way
  • Be humble, treat all people with respect, expect nothing in return
  • Motivate people to extraordinary service, encourage them to take risks
  • Celebrate mission and service regularly in the life of the church
  • Involve children and youth to teach them the importance of helping others
  • Collaborate with other groups and churches for the good of all
  • Include visitors, newcomers and unchurched as an entry point to church
  • Streamline the process of approval in order to expedite ministry
  • Get involved globally as well as locally, big problems as well as small

EXTRAVAGANT GENEROSITY

  • Speak confidently and faithfully about money, giving, tithing and generosity
  • Focus on the need of the giver to give, not the needs of the church
  • Focus on joy of giving, ministry that takes place, and people that are helped
  • Provide a compelling vision to make a difference for Christ in the world
  • Hold high quality annual pledge opportunities with wide participation
  • Invite lay persons to speak to the church about their giving practice
  • Emphasize the importance of stewardship throughout the year
  • Express appreciation to those who give, both verbally and written
  • Practice generosity collectively as a congregation
  • Leaders not only teach, but model tithing to the congregation
  • Offer workshops and events to help people with personal finances
  • Make certain to use confidentiality, transparency and integrity when dealing with the church’s finances and handling it’s money
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