Are you looking for ways to build a stronger, more engaged congregation? Unfortunately, the headwinds are strong, with one in three practicing Christians leaving the church during the pandemic.
“At the time when the world needs the gospel the most, it appears to be the least interested,” writes Carey Nieuwhof, pastor and best-selling author. He believes that engagement is the new church attendance.
So how can you cultivate a truly engaged congregation? Start with purpose-filled programming.
The Four Most Important Elements of Any Program
1. Does it help fulfill the Great Commission?
As you’re considering opportunities for your church, remember that new programs should be anchored to the gospel–a mission that energizes and connects us all. Donors and volunteers are motivated by their collective faith in God, spreading his unconditional love, regardless of race, wealth, or creed.
The Seven Saves initiative, powered by Food For The Poor, is built on showing love to communities in need. Those who contribute are feeding young souls with physical and spiritual nourishment as meals are distributed in partnership with local churches.
2. Does it require an immense commitment?
You have to consider the time and resource commitment when supporting any new launch. Effective programs understand that people are busy and many organizations are short-staffed. Some programs can run with just one liaison from your church, working a couple of hours a month. This church facilitator could be a volunteer or staff member who communicates the details to your church, distributes materials and resources, and provides updates to your congregation. Learn more about this role.
With Seven Saves, you’re guaranteed support through the entire process as a dedicated contact person helps with any social media or publicity needs. There’s also a Seven Saves Facebook group filled with a wealth of resources. Whatever you choose, ensure that your church has the infrastructure and manpower to support your decision.
3. Does it cultivate collaboration in your congregation?
Many people are desperate for fellowship, and launching a new program is a great opportunity to come together. With strategic planning, you can help your congregation feel excited about the mission and eager to contribute.
Increasing collaboration is often done around the table. Consider hosting a breakfast or brunch so people can learn more before signing up. Boost engagement by allowing your congregation to vote on which program they are most interested in.
Once a program is picked, plan a service day. Choose a project like helping a homebound member of your church, tackling church maintenance, or doing yard work for a single mom. Serving your local community pairs well with the launch of your larger global effort.
4. Does it build to a shared goal?
Making a difference together can unite your congregation. Church members can get to know one another through volunteering and donating as relationships are formed and cemented around a common goal. Participating in international missions in particular gives your church a healthier perspective by cultivating awareness, understanding, and empathy.
If your church could benefit from a shared goal, from a new sense of purpose, and from closer community and collaboration, consider launching a new program. And if your church has a heart for international missions, Seven Saves is feeding young souls by providing meals and spiritual support. Refer your church and learn more about Seven Saves today.