The comments, below, were said by our volunteers who meet with our new members
Remember your first day of high school or your first day in a new job? Remember getting lost in the building, trying to learn the group lingo, and feeling like the outsider among people who knew each other well? It’s the stuff of nightmares!
We don’t want our visitors and new members to feel that way. So we have friendly greeters, helpful ushers, good signage and a large visitor center in the lobby.
“Wow! We are really getting some neat new members!”
But are we as thoughtful and intentional about helping new people volunteer? New members make great volunteers. They’re excited about the church, eager to make friends, and they want to contribute. But only about 10% of them have the self-confidence and initiative needed to jump into volunteering on their own. The rest need our help.
“These visits are such a wonderful way to get to know new members and see where they are in their spiritual journey. We see what the church can do for them and how they can help the church.”
In big churches, newcomers think there surely are people better qualified to be an usher or a Sunday school teacher than they are. In a small church, newcomers wonder if they’d be intruders in the close groups of families and friends that seem to be doing everything. In all churches, people wonder what the job would really be like, how much time would be involved, if they have the ability to do the job, and what they’d do if they tried it and didn’t like it! Plus, if the jobs trumpeted in the announcements don’t appeal to them, they have no idea how to find something that does.
“I met Lynn, a new Christian who was so excited about being a Christian. It made me feel so good, and helped me see that sometimes I take my faith for granted.”
Why else should we intentionally and individually help new member serve?
- New people, and the gifts God has given them, are His gift to the church. We won’t know about those gifts unless we ask.
- If we believe each of us is part of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27), we will know there is a place for them.
- Conversations uncover deeper gifts. Edgar is happy to be an usher, and Samantha offers to bake cookies, but only when someone talks with them in more detail about their gifts, do we find out that Edgar skillfully leads large teams working on complex projects at work, and that Samantha leads training seminars.
- Our help provides another new friend for the newcomer.
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How many people joined your church last year? How many of those people are involved as volunteers today? What will you do to increase that number?
See also “How to Help New Members Serve” and “Christmas Gifts“
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