The Journey, a St. Louis, Mo., church with a weekly attendance of 6,200, offers a shorter small group option that allows newcomers to simply build connections without pressure to get involved right away. These Connect groups let people know they’re known about and cared for. They also hold a newcomers dinner, where the church’s leaders explain the mission, vision and values of the church and suggest ways to get involved. This path to membership gives people a clear entry point to the church and encourages them to stay. When they’ve invested themselves in membership and service, they’re less likely to leave the church.
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