Beyond the First Year

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The first 12 months are critical in closing your church’s
back door. But, what’s the long-term goal? It’s more than just
getting families through the first year. Actually, Jesus gave this
goal to us:
“Go…and make
disciples.”

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I believe a “disciple” and an “involved church member” are
synonymous, or they should be. If we can define an involved church
member, then we can get our arms around the command to go and make
disciples. And, when we think about closing the back door, one
thing seems reasonable-involved families don’t usually drop
out.

What defines an involved church member? Here’s a starting
list. Think about the parents and families in your ministry. How
many are “involved church members”?

Characteristics of Involved Church
Members

What do
involved church members look like?

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1. They have friends in the
church.
People who are active in their church
have friends. People who don’t have friends usually aren’t around
for long. How many friends do your parents have with other parents?
How many friends do your kids have?

2. They attend worship regularly.
Sharing in meaningful worship provides the central activity
in which involved members participate. What percentage of the new
families in your children’s ministry attend worship at least twice
a month?

3. They’re involved in a fellowship
group.
Very few people who are involved in small
groups drop out of church. Groups are great places to build
relationships between new and old members, kids and adults. And,
since it’s hard to “break into” existing groups (where friendship
are already established), it is important to start new small groups
each year.

4. They identify with their church’s
goals.
How many parents with kids in your
children’s ministry could list at least two of the goals you have
set for the coming year? How many

identify with and join in reaching
those goals?

5. They’re growing spiritually.
All Christians should feel they’re moving in a Christ-like
direction on their own pilgrim’s progress. Have you ever asked your
parents and kids how they are doing in their walk with
Jesus?

6. They have a meaningful church
ministry.
One of the best ways to make friends is
to share in a common project. Involvement in a meaningful aspect of
children’s ministry will help “outsider” parents become
insiders.

7. They give financially to the
church.
“Where your treasure is, there will your
heart be, also” (Matthew. 6:31). Financial support increases a
person’s involvement in any endeavor. Are your parents supporting
your children’s ministry? Do they have a specific project they’re
giving to? Providing giving opportunities will benefit the families
as much as the church.

8. They bring others to Christ.
As any businessperson knows, satisfied customers tell their
friends. Satisfied church members do, too. Are new kids beginning
to bring their friends? Are parents inviting other parents to their
new church?

 

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