Visiting a new church, especially if you are unchurched or have been out of the church for many years, can be very intimidating. Most traditional churches assume that new guests will visit a Sunday morning worship service when they visit for the first time, but for church plants with missional models, that may not be true.
Create Next Steps
In a discipleship pathway you have ongoing steps, first steps and next steps. Ongoing steps are what everyone in the church can be doing to grow as self-feeders, like reading the Word, regularly attending worship and connecting in a group. First steps are the very first steps for every new person in your church. Next steps are short-term steps that grow you and then connect you back to ongoing steps. Your church should have a plan in place that includes steps for every single person who walks in the doors—whether it’s their first visit or their 600th visit.
Consider that midsize communities can be a great place for first steps. They are a 20–50 person environment, and often look like big parties with a small chunk of organized time where the host speaks, testimonies are given and information about what the church is doing in that community is shared. This environment is a casual entry point into the church that often results in a sticky experience. Use this opportunity to invite them to a worship service or another midsize community.
Consider Your Size
If your church is under 200 members, you don’t need formal midsize communities, because everyone already knows when somebody is new. Think about how you launch your church and how you grow your leaders and grow your communities. You have a unique opportunity to consider which type of environments to create outside the Sunday morning worship service. Create a midsize community at someone’s house or at a community center that is a different environment than the worship service environment. Consider how you can use these communities as next steps where one environment can allow for you to spend time loving Jesus, while another allows you to spend time loving each other, and a third allows for you to help others love Jesus and love others.
Adapted by permission from the New Churches Q&A Podcast Episode 392: Is Corporate Worship the Best Entry Point Into a New Church? Click here to listen to more to church planting, multisite and multiplication tips.