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How do you encourage newcomers to start getting plugged in?

If there's really not that much going on at your church, it's going to be extremely difficult to motivate anyone to get involved, even long-timers. I don't believe any church will see a steady stream of newcomers if it's invisible in the community. Believe me, this is not a "chicken or egg" scenario—there really does need to be a positive word-of-mouth buzz out there before you will ever see a consistent flow of new folks coming through your doors.

I've been at our church since I was a seminary intern ('78) and became the senior pastor of it in 1996. During my first few years as the senior pastor, we'd get a few visitors now and then, but nothing like the steady stream we've experienced in the last five years. Prior to that, we were so preoccupied with re-invigorating our church that we let countless newcomers slip in and then out of our midst. Looking back, I don't know that we could have or should have done it any differently. We had to crystallize our mission and vision first. ...

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