Continuing my highly derivative series on church trends, the next six are from Carey Nieuwhof’s post 6 Disruptive Church Trends That Will Rule 2017.
Trend 16: Anonymity Will Continue To Give Way To Community
Some people head into your church wanting to be connected immediately. Others want to kick the tires a bit longer.
But when they want to engage, they want to engage. And in the future church, almost everyone will want to engage.
The days of sitting in the back row not knowing anyone, not serving anywhere, not engaging at all for years on end, are dying. After all, online is a great place to start and stay anonymous. And there are thousands of online options.
Figuring out how to connect people faster, at their own pace and in their own sequence, will become the hallmark of churches where many gather.
This makes sense to me. First-time visitors don’t want to be smothered. They don’t want to stand in front of everyone to be applauded. They are there to observe. But they are there to become engaged — if they like what they observe. And it needs to be easy for them to find their way in.
They should easily find out about classes and small groups. They need to know who to call or email to visit a group — and they need to be greeted by someone who knows these answers but isn’t pushy.
All these require a greeter ministry and out-reach minded small group leaders and members. It’s not just a matter of having a pre-printed volunteer sheet (these rarely work as intended). It’s about the elders and ministers and small group leaders inviting visitors to lunch and being prepared to explain what their church is about and how to get involved.