Churches tend to focus a lot of their time and resources on visitors and long-standing members. But what about individuals who are in transition like new members? Although new members have officially joined your congregation and aren’t visitors anymore, they haven’t had the time to build connections or get settled yet, so they may need the same kind of care and intentionality you offer your visitors. Let’s look at 4 key ways you can engage new church members.
Introduce Them to Their Small Group
Do you introduce new members to your community groups, or do they have to do that themselves? New members may be hesitant to abruptly join a group of people they don’t know, simply to fellowship and have accountability. They know they will stand out as the “new people,” which can be intimidating and awkward.
Try making this process easier on your new members. Ask them if they’d like to join a small group/community group and help them find the one they belong to. Then pair them up with a seasoned member within that group who can introduce them, be available for questions, etc. This way, you integrate the new member into your church family, not the other way around.
Host a Picnic/Cookout With the Pastor and Church Leaders
While it’s good for new church members to meet families who have been long-time members, it might also be good to give them a chance to connect or meet the pastors and church leadership! It can help new members feel less overwhelmed to have a starting point for building relationships. To give them a chance to get to know each other, host a meet-and-greet picnic or cookout. Having the pastor and a couple of other church leaders there may be helpful, too, to give them a chance to meet some of the staff in a casual, laid-back atmosphere.
Post Relevant Content to Social Media
Announcements, impactful verses or quotes from Sunday’s message, event info—this is all content you can and should be posting to your church’s social media site regularly. Once they join your church, no doubt one of the first things your new members will do (if they haven’t done so already) is follow your church’s social networking profiles. Social media is a great way to engage new members because it keeps them informed and connects with the church in a pressure-free way. For example, they can message you via private message if they have a question or reply “maybe” to events they want to attend but aren’t sure they’ll be able to make it to.
Find Ways to Engage With Shut-Ins or Families With Special Needs
Are some of your member’s shut-ins? Do some of them have special needs children or other circumstances that keep them at home? It’s important to reach out and find ways to connect with new church members like this. Provide multiple streaming options for your sermons, make sure they’re on your email list or prayer chain, and be sure to ask them if there are other ways you can minister to them. Even though they may be unable to attend your church building physically, they are still a part of your church family and need just as much love and care as the rest of your members.