Intentionality In Ministry

Yesterday I finished Ignite: How to Spark Immediate Growth in Your Church by Nelson Searcy.  As soon as I finished it I picked up another book by Searcy, Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church.  I thoroughly enjoyed Ignite and look forward to reading Fusion as well.  Both contain very clear and practical ideas for how we might first attract people to our churches and secondly help ensure that they connect once they do arrive.

As I reflect on it, Searcy’s main focus can be summed up in one word – intentional.  Ignite challenges the reader to be intentional about how churches reach out to and communicate with people who have not yet come through their doors.  Fusion challenges the reader to be intentional about how those persons are integrated into the life of the community once they do come through the doors.

In my ministry I hope to be intentional about:

  • Developing the church’s presence in the community
  • Preaching sermons that are meaningful for members and non-members alike
  • Encouraging parishioners to be in the habit of inviting friends, family, and co-workers to join them in church
  • Providing parishioners with tools to help them invite others to church
  • Assuring that the church is a warm and welcoming place to which people want to return
  • Monitoring attendance and participation in the life of the church
  • Following up when a person’s attendance and participation patterns quickly shift
  • Creating opportunities for people to deepen their faith in God through involvement in the church

How about you?  What would you add to that list?  In what ways do you seek to be intentional in your ministry?  What tools or resources have you found to be helpful in this work?



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4 responses to “Intentionality In Ministry

  1. Mitch

    First ignite, then fusion. You’d best be careful you don’t blow Tongie off the map! I like your list of intentional things, and try to do many of them. I’m still not sure how FUMC can be better tracking attendance…perhaps with a new ChMS. Presence in the community is really important, and something I hope to do more of, although it’s outside my comfort zone.

    • Jeff Clinger

      Mitch, I think even with Shelby FUMC could better be tracking attendance, it is a matter of someone deciding what they want from the system and having it pulled on a regular basis: ie, each week we want a list of people who have been regular (more than x% present over x period of time), but missed the last three weeks. Community presence is a big one, I think, but harder in a larger community like Lawrence. I’m excited to dive-in when I start in Tongie this summer!

  2. nancy

    Worship follow-up is something that is facilitated by attendance pads and most any church software program. I have found that it is most often a function of church staff assisted by volunteers. I find the harder thing is to monitor participation in the life of the church in other ways. What thoughts do you have on how that might be done?

    • Jeff Clinger

      Nancy, I think that attendance or participation in other church activities can be tracked in much the same way as worship (take attendance, record it in the CMS program, periodically ask the CMS program for a specific report). The challenge is finding the staff/volunteer time to 1.) set this up and 2.) maintain it on an ongoing basis.

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