Is your class or small group OPEN to new members? Is your class or small group EXPECTING new people to attend/join?
The answer to these two questions helps you determine whether or not your class or small group exhibits a “Culture of Invitation.” At the core of why your class or group exists is about making disciples. Our context is a small group of people, gathered around God’s Word and determined to accomplish His purpose. It’s about people. Our focus is on God and fulfilling His purpose, but our target is people. Use these suggestions to help your class or small group create a “Culture of Invitation.”
It starts before a guest or prospect arrives.
- Assign someone to be primarily responsible for greeting and befriending any new guests.
- Weekly remind members to invite friends, peers, co-workers and family to join them in Bible study.
- Prepare the room for guests. Make sure the chairs are arranged so the guest will be comfortable and feel welcome.
- Make sure you have enrollment cards, pens and name tags available. Additional Bible study books should be on hand to provide to guests.
When guests arrive…
- Invite guests to sit in the best seats and surround them with people who are interested in them.
- Collect accurate information for the purpose of follow up.
- Invite them to join the class. You can enroll someone as a member just as easily as you can collect guest information.
- Everybody wears a name tag. Use one color for guests and another for members.
- Focus on getting to know the person, not just on completing tasks.
- Invite guests to join you in worship. Ask them to sit with you and your family.
- Invite guests to join you for lunch.
- Be sure and introduce your guests to the Senior Pastor and other appropriate staff.
- Assists with collecting children if they have preschoolers.
Follow up after a guests visit.
- Make a phone call within 24 hours thanking them for their participation.
- If they choose to join you, help them know what their next step would be.
- Ask if you can add them to your mailing lists, email lists, blog, facebook or text group. If they requests to be removed, please honor their wishes.
- Continue to make contact until they join and become active or they request to not be contacted anymore.