Here’s a question I received and replied to recently regarding Fusion:
Q: Thanks so much for writing the book Fusion, about getting people plugged into our church. I recently found and read it, and it’s been very helpful.
I like the fact that you lay out a clear, practical plan to improve how we connect with newcomers and I truly believe that this book is a great resource for anyone interested in church growth (so much so that I posted a review on my blog).
However, there is one thing that I’m a bit uneasy about. If I understand correctly, your plan calls for churches to spend between $400-$600 per guest on free gifts (books, gas cards, etc…).
Doesn’t this almost seem like bribery? I have a friend who would go to a large church that offered free coffee for first time guests. Each week they would go and claim to be first timers.
Any light you can shed on this topic would be great…
A: Thanks for the post and for your question about Fusion!
One clarification – I do not advocate $600 – $700 on first time guest follow-up.
I do suggest you send them a personal letter with a gift card (currently we send a first class letter with a subway/bus pass – total cost $5) and then at their second visit we send a letter with a CD (about $2 with postage).
At the service Guests have the option to pick up a free book designed to answer their questions about Christ (maybe $3.50 each).
So, I guess we do invest (I like that word better than ‘spend’) around $10 to get a first timer to return. I see it more as evangelism since everything is designed to move them forward in their spiritual walk.
In the book, I do mention that the average church spends hundreds of dollars to get guests through the door the first time (based on the money invested in evangelism) and my challenge is to invest a few more dollars to help people return/grow.
Hope that makes sense. Again, thanks for the shout out!
Feel free to let me know if I can provide further assistance.
P.S. For even more advanced Assimilation techniques, check out The Assimilation Intensive.
“You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.”
– George Patton, General
But in the midst of ALL the choices, there are only a few conferences that stay on my “can’t miss” list. The National Outreach Convention is one of them.
I have the privilege of being a part of the National Outreach Convention coming up in November.
I’m really looking forward to leading a breakout on Ignite (based on my new book) and a discussion group about Assimilation.
The question is, will you be there?
NATIONAL OUTREACH CONVENTION
(click here for more info)
November 4-6, 2009
San Diego, CA
P.S. I’ve received a lot of questions about the release of Ignite, so here’s the link where you can pre-order your copy (or copies) from Amazon:
I tried out something new last month by delivering my monthly book recommendations via video. I got so much positive feedback from that experiment that I’m doing it again.
Here are the books I’m recommending to the Church Leader Insights family (that includes you) for the month of August:
August Book Recommendations:
P.S. Did you know that you can use this blog to ask me questions about what’s going on in your ministry situation? You can click on the “Ask Nelson” button on the right side of this blog at any time to send me your questions. Keep ‘em coming!
I saw this study a few days ago:
One out of every five Christian nonprofits is reportedly relying to a greater extent on volunteers to offset the economic downturn, according to a study conducted by J. David Schmidt & Associates for the Christian Leadership Alliance. In addition, with the downturn in the economy, more people are without current employment and have free time to volunteer.
I’ve often heard that leading a growing church is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Compared to the corporate world, we are in a much different position because of our great reliance on volunteers. And with the current economic climate, it seems we’re all running leaner than ever when it comes to staffing.
What better time is there to perform a tune-up on your church’s ministry system?
- How many people are serving in your church? Do you even know?
- How well are you involving new believers in serving? What are the best “on ramps” to service at your church?
- Are there any volunteer roles that a non-believer could fill at your church?
- How long have your key volunteers been serving without a break?
- Does everyone who volunteers at your church know how much they’re valued?
- Is your church’s ministry system functioning to its fullest potential?
My latest 3 hour system seminar, The Ministry Seminar, will help you in each of these areas (and many more). I lay out a systematic, practical approach to maximizing your church’s volunteers that involves more than just “getting things done,” but also helping each of them to grow to become more like Christ.
For more information or to secure your copy of The Ministry Seminar, CLICK HERE.
Jason Hatley – Worship Arts Pastor at The Journey and founder of Worship Leader Insights – is out this week for the birth of his son (Congrats Jason and Karen!), so I wanted to share with you an awesome FREE training event for Worship Leaders coming up next week.
Here’s the details from Jason’s email:
I have decided to offer one last FREE 75-minute webinar next Wednesday, August 26 from 1:00pm-2:15pm EST to teach the Five Foundations of Building a Healthy and Growing Worship Team.
I know that you, like many others, weren’t able to make it to the the free “Five Foundations” webinar last week, but I have to tell you… No one was more surprised than me at how many people responded to attend the free training. The webinar hit a nerve!
Since I’ve been teaching the “How to Double Your Worship Team in a Day” seminar, and released the 3-CD resource last month, I’ve received a ton of questions about how to create the healthy, thriving team environment that almost ensures that this auditions system will work in your church. The questions have been great – but more than I can answer one-on-one.
This webinar will help you build the framework for a thriving worship ministry. It’s free and the best part is, you don’t even have to leave your office to get these powerful lessons that I’ve taught to hundreds of worship leaders in last 3 years (including most recently to a standing room only group of Worship Leaders at the Willow Creek Arts Conference in June 2009).
If you would like to attend this free webinar, just reply to this email and let me know.
This is the last time I’ll be able to offer this training for free, so I hope you can make it to this powerful, 75-minute nuts-and-bolts seminar on how to build a healthy and growing Worship Team.
Your partner in ministry,
To sign up for Jason’s FREE Webinar – The Five Foundations of Building a Healthy and Growing Worship Team – send him an email at email@example.com.
Here’s an “Ask Nelson” question that I answered a while back:
Q:I’ve got a staffing question and wanted to bounce it off you – one of the members of my staff needs to step down because she needs more time with her family, but everything’s on the up and up between her & the church. She’s willing to stay on long enough for us to replace her and get the new person oriented, and we’re currently looking.
My question is this: How would you recommend we communicate key staff changes to the church? This move is actually a good thing, so I want to emphasize the positive aspects (i.e. she’s making the right choice for her family and she’s done a fantastic job for a few years).
So far I’ve told my staff and her direct volunteer reports. How would you handle communicating to the other leadership and the whole church?
A: Staff changes can be one of the more challenging aspects of leading a growing church, but (like you noted) this is actually a “good” move. Here’s what I would recommend:
1) Get her to write a letter to her key volunteers explaining why she is leaving – have her write it to her volunteers but give it to you to share. This is a letter you can share with everyone involved in the children’s area (parents, volunteers, etc.).
2) You also need to get a formal letter of resignation from her for your employment files – this can be short and sweet as you won’t be sharing it.
3) You really only need to share her transition with those impacted by the decision (parents, children’s volunteers, etc) – they will want to know why she’s leaving so share her letter. They will also want to know what you plan to do to fill the position – so cast vision for the future. This could be an email or a letter.
4) As for the entire church, there’s no need to announce it in a big way – you could put a ‘staff note’ in the newsletter or e-newsletter announcing the transition with a brief quote from her letter to volunteers and a sentence or two of vision from you.
That’s a quick overview – hope it helps!
P.S. Here’s a resource that will help as you replace this person on your staff. The first few months of a new hire are vital to helping them succeed. Download a copy of The First 90 Days: Welcoming a New Staff Member.
I am so pumped up that this is the week that my new Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network starts (on Thursday).
I know that I’ve been talking a lot about this network and inviting you to apply, but here are 3 quick reasons why I am so pumped:
- I am a firm believer in the concept of “Learn and Return.” In other words, as I learn something I’m responsible to return it to God’s Kingdom for others to use it. This network gives me an awesome forum to do just that.
- I have been reading and preparing for this network like never before. In anticipation of this tele-coaching network I’ve been learning so much that I can’t wait to share with the group.
- I am addicted to the Kingdom results that come from these networks. In coaching over 400 pastors in the last few years, I have a unique and overwhelming opportunity to see how God is working all over the country (and around the world for that matter) through the leaders I get to coach.
I hope you’ll join me in praying for these coaching participants and alumni, the entire CLI family (that includes you) and the Kingdom as a whole, that God will use us all like never before to impact the world for Christ this fall!
P.S. There is still time to apply for this Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network if you act fast. Download your application here: www.ChurchLeaderInsights.com/telecoaching
This is it – my new Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network begins this Thursday (August 20) and I hope you are going to be a part of it. With that in mind, here’s today’s coaching alumni highlight:
Terry Friesen was the Founding and Senior Pastor of Marsh Creek Church near Philadelphia, PA. He recently accepted the call as Senior Pastor at the Palmyra Brethren in Christ Church in central Pennsylvania. Based on his track record, I’m excited to see how God is going to use Terry to lead Palmyra to the next level.
Keep up the good work, Terry!
Palmyra Brethren in Christ Church
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