To Infinity and Beyond: Contacting, Connecting, and Keeping Folks in Your Small Group

Originally Posted on August 14, 2020

Webinar Transcript

– So, let’s talk about contacting, connecting, and keeping. I mentioned to you just a minute ago, that I love the movies, Toy Stories and how, even with all their distractions and life changes, how they kept community, they kept people together. They look for people. You remember when Woody got lost, and then Buzz, I think got lost one time. And then the little girl with the little boat peeps, she got lost. And they didn’t like the fact that they would lose their family, their community, but they also had to adjust because the little boy that old Woody, grew up and then the little sister grew up. And so they knew that it changes and we have to be willing to adjust to the changes. We can’t become what’s called a Holy huddle. And just think this is just my little group and I don’t want anything to change, I want everything to stay the same because I know all these people. But that’s not what God has called us to do. There are times when we do Bible studies in classes where it is inward focus only. It is where you are just putting together a group of people like a divorce care or grief share, or a celebrate recovery where you want the same people every week, because you’re trying to minister to those people. And it’s a closed group for a reason. But the majority of our ministries, the majority of our groups need to always be outward focus. And that’s what I loved about the movie. Now, all of you that are watching this, I don’t know what your background is. And maybe some of you are single, some of you are married, some of you leading, maybe some of your on staff, pastoring. It all doesn’t matter because we’re all a part of a group of some kind. So we’re gonna get into a little bit more about, you know, how do we contact people? How do we connect to them and how do we keep them? So one of the questions I want to ask you is, do you remember your first day of school? Do you remember when you were the first one there or maybe you moved, or maybe you’re the first person at a job, a new job and you moved and how that felt. How did that feel? Did you feel good? Were you excited? Were you nervous? Did you not know what to expect? Well, when you get married and you come into a new group, you come into a new class, you have that person beside you. That kinda, you know, I don’t know about this, I don’t know about that. You’re kind of like, you know, they’re your support. But when you’re by yourself and you’re coming, there is no support. You kind of walk in, you kind of look and you’re looking for people that look like you. You’re looking at for someone that maybe will say hello to you or “Come on over here and sit with me.” It’s very scary. And so remember back, if you can be in that person and what it felt like, and that will help you as you begin to, as we go through the night and we talk about the different parts of this to remember what it felt like for yourself. Remember a lot of our classes I’ve noticed over the years, I’ve visited lots of settings of classes with small groups over the years. Some of them have a lot of people coming, but then they don’t come back. We don’t know why, but I could probably tell you why. Some of them have great teachers, they’re awesome teachers, they’re made loves the teacher, but they’re terrible at follow up. They’re terrible at relationships. And then some we’re all relational, we’re just buddies, we just love you and just come on and… But the teaching is like, arg. How can we have a balance of all of it? How can we have a good teacher that cares about the people there? Even if the teacher’s married, even if the teacher doesn’t completely understand singleness. How can we have a teacher that cares about the people around you? And then how do you have people that care also about the people around you? This is some of the challenges that we have today. There are three reasons why people do not come back to our churches, they don’t come back to our small groups, our classrooms. One, they came for a handout and you got tired of handing out. They’re always in need. They go from church to church, to church, looking for free anything. They want free money. They want somebody to help them in their house. They never wanna give back. It’s always them needing something. And at some point in time, you get tired as a ministry of giving and giving and giving. And you realize this person is not really wanting to change. They’re just taking advantage of you. Another reason why somebody won’t come back is it’s just not where God wants them. You didn’t do anything wrong, it’s not about you, it’s not about the teachings, it’s not about followup, just isn’t where God wants them. And then the third reason is, they didn’t feel welcomed, they didn’t feel loved, they didn’t feel included, they didn’t feel like they belonged because we didn’t do something right. We forgot to do something. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about. Remember, every class that we’re in, every small gallery and the whole purpose of it is to grow people, to connect them to Christ and to connect them to each other. Our purpose in the life is the same. Whether you’re single or married, our purpose is a relationship with the Lord that glorifies him. And now that relationship or relationship with others to bring him to Christ. So whether you go to a first Baptist or third Baptist, you know, whether you’re in this denomination or that denomination, whether you were a doctor or you work at a grocery store, whether you’re retired or you’re 20, and in college, it doesn’t change, your purpose doesn’t change. It’s just the direction of where God has placed you in order to work out that purpose. So when we keep that mindset in our small groups, in our Bible studies in our ministry, we keep that mindset that, wow, the whole reason we’re here is to connect people to God and to each other. Maybe I’ve gotten off track. Maybe our group has kind of gone the wrong direction. Maybe we’re more about socials and everybody having fun, we aren’t about the word of God. Or maybe we’re too much about the word of God and we forgot about the relationships, we forgot about the friendships, or maybe we’re all about one person who’s in charge, there’s no team, there’s no leadership team. And the group never grows ’cause there’s only one person and they can’t do it all. Something to think about. One of the biggest challenges that I find in Sunday school and small group development is a lack of prayer. Are we really praying daily for who God wants us to reach. Are we praying for who God wants us to follow up with? Are we praying for who God wants us to help lead the ministry? So the first word we’re gonna look at is contacting. This is the three words contacting, connecting, and keeping. This is that first connect point I mean, contacting point outside the church, let’s say. This is that person that you might meet at the drug store, someone you might meet at the dry cleaner, somebody, if you have kids, you might be kid plays or sit in the same classroom as your kid. It might be your neighbor. It’s anybody that you had that initial contact for the purpose of bringing them to church, for the purpose of leading them to the Lord, for the purpose of bringing them into your group, your ministry. That first connection that you have. Well, the greatest way for that to happen is to have something in common. Proverbs 22:2 says, “Rich and poor have this in common. “The Lord is the maker of them all.” I will say other places, the gym, sporting events, a Mary Kay party, a block party, walking, hiking. These are all ways that we can connect with people for the purpose of getting to know them, building a relationship and inviting them to our churches, inviting them to our Sunday school classes. But with key, that helps it, is to have something in common to start the conversation of beginning to see what you have, a common interest that creates the conversation, that can then go to relationship. And also allow you to invite them. Be prepared when you are doing this. One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we’ll be at a restaurant and we’ll witness to the waitress. You know, I love to say to the server, “We’re getting ready to thank God for our meal. “Is there something that we can pray for you?” And everybody there, they’re like, “Yeah, you pray for my mom or pray for my dog “or pray for my kid.” Or whatever, and we go, “That’s wonderful.” And then that’s it. I’ve made the same mistake and we don’t invite them to our churches, or we do, we invite them on a Sunday right after church. And they’re like, “Well, do you want me to serve your meal after church “or do you want me to come to your church?” But we don’t ever have anything to give them. And even if we do give them something, we don’t get their information. So how are you gonna follow up with them? I promise you, most people when you give them a business card of the church, our brochure of the church, they’re less likely to contact you without a personal connection. So by just giving someone a brochure or a bulletin is not enough. Unless they’re seeking, unless they’re like, “Well, I’ve been looking for churches and I’m gonna come.” But again, we’re trying to get them into our class. That’s what the whole purpose of tonight’s talk is. We wanna get them into our ministries, into our Sunday school classes. So inviting somebody, just to your church, you may see them again. So to me, what’s important is to be ready, be ready when we go out, be ready and be intentional about when you go out. So every morning you pray and say, Lord, who am I going to come into contact with? Who can I start a conversation with? Maybe it’s somebody I already know, somebody that’s in my family, somebody that’s a friend. Maybe it’s already my neighbor, but help me, Lord have what I need to give them, to let them know a bore about the ministry. But then I need to get their information and say, “Hey, can I get your phone number? “I’ll give you a call. “Do you need a ride?” And here’s another thing that’s really important is finding out enough about them, a little bit about them, that you might be able to connect them even to somebody else that might have something in common. So if you meet a single mom, you say, “You know what? “We have awesome single moms ministry in our church.” “Really?” Or you find out all, they really love sports. “Hey, we have offer basketball at our church. “Your kid could be in that.” Or, “Oh, I’m sorry about your spouse passing away. “We have a grief ministry and love to help you with that.” So learning a little bit more about them is gonna increase the idea of connecting. But just a general like, “Well come to our ministry.” Is not gonna do it, you’ve got to be more intentional. You got to go to the next step. And then what I like to do is, I like to email them, or if their adds are on Facebook, I add them on Facebook. Or just again, that personal phone call that just says, “Hey, you are my server.” Or, “Hey, I met you at the dry cleaner” Or “Hey, you know, our kids are in the same class “and let’s have a cup of coffee.” And make that effort to get to know them, to build a friendship with them. That’s that first one, that’s the easy one. Well, easy for, I guess, some of us, but we all know people. Do you know that 80% of the people that end up coming to church, 80% of the people end up getting saved are our friends, people that we already know. So be intentional, start praying and saying, Lord everyday when I go out, everyday, even in the midst of this stuff, that’s going on. Everyday when I go out, whether it’s my job or the grocery store or the dry cleaner, or go into a Lake or going hiking, Lord, who can you intercept me with that I can just at least say hello. And if the opportunity does come up, that I can talk more, then I have information to give them and I’m ready and I’m prepared. Remember you got to plan for success versus planning for failure. The next level of connecting is those that already are in your church. They come to your church, you see them in your church. They’re sitting in the lobby, they’re waiting to go into the sanctuary and how can I connect to them? How do I talk to them? They’re new person, I’ve never seen them before. So what do I do? How do I even start a conversation? Or they’re already in a Sunday school class or already in a small group? I don’t know. First thing to do was one idea that I do is called take five. Take five minutes to talk to somebody you’ve never met before, or talk to five different people for one minute. Just go up to them, say, you know what, please forgive me if I’ve forgotten your name, but tell me how you, you know, are you becoming to this church a long time? Or how long have you been coming to the church? Better open ended question, you know, or are you already in a Sunday school class or a small group? Finding out some things about them ’cause sometimes they’re just standing there and it’s their first time, and no one’s talking to them. Introduce yourself and ask them how long they’ve been coming. And this is a way that avoids being a little embarrassed in case they say, “Well, don’t you know me? “We dated last year.” That’s okay, that’s funny, but it can happen. If they answer, “This is my first time.” Take them to the welcome center and hang out with them to see if they need someone to walk them to service. If they’re already a member ask them which class or group that they’re in. And why do they like it? Why are you in that particular person’s class or small group? It’s great information because it’s also gonna get some information for your church to find out. They say, “Well, I’m in the Jones’s class.” I’m like, “Well, tell me that.” “Well, you know what? “It’s really, really crowded. “There’s never anywhere to sit. “And I’m just thinking that they don’t need me there.” “Well come to our class.” Or, you know, ” I’m in this class and I’m really loving it.” “How are you serving?” “Oh, we’re not really serving yet.” “Why not?” I always wanna know that. Years ago I was attending a church and I was a greeter and loved to greet. And in between services, I would go out into the lobby and I would just introduce myself to people ’cause I had nothing to lose. And so I’d go up and just say, “Hi, my name is Kris. “And tell me how long you been coming to Hope.” And they say, “Oh, year, six months, first time,” whatever. And the next question was always, “Tell me how you’re serving.” And once in a while, they’d say, “Oh, I’d greed or on the third Sunday I watch the five-year-olds.” Or you know, whatever they do. But do you know that majority of the time they’re not doing nothing, nothing. So then I was like, he he he. So I would take them over to one of the desks of the people who, the area they recruit, you know, it was like the, you know, assimilation desk or whatever it was, but it was where you get information. And I would walk them over there and say, “Hi, this is Susie Q and Bob. “And they’ve been coming here for a year “and they’re not serving. “Cause they really, they don’t know what to do.” I remember a pastor said to me, he saw him and he watched me one particular Sunday and he says, “How are you doing that?” And I said, “Do what?” “We’ve got more people than ever that are serving, “like more than ever. “How are you getting them to serve? “We announced it for the public, we put it in the bulletin. “We put it on our website, nobody’s signing up. “It’s like you got a big people.” And I said, “I ask them.” And he’s like, “What?” I said, “I ask them.” Most people don’t serve. Most people don’t join our or become a part of our Sunday school class or our small groups because no one’s asked them. They’re waiting for someone to want them. And we don’t even realize that. We think it’s their decision. But the reality is it’s our decision to be intentional about inviting people, by name, with a personal connection to them and say, “We’d love for you to be a part of our class “or a small group or a ministry.” Now, if you’re doing a study online, you can also the same process. You can still ask people how they’re serving. You can still ask people, how are they serving in their existing church or how things have changed since, you know, maybe they’re not in a physical group and they’re only doing online, but it still works. Now if they are a member of the church, but they’re not in your class, I would suggest walking them to your class. I would suggest bringing them into your class. When you’re walking them in, what a great time to ask them more questions about them. What a great time to ask them, why they chose your church and to see what kind of answers they’d given you. The more you know about your church, the more you know about your ministry and the other classes that are there, the other small groups that are there. What your church is doing, how they’re serving in the community, what events they have going on, if there’s a guest speaker. The more you know about your church, the better you are at being able to communicate that information and help somebody connect. But when you don’t know anything, then why am I gonna come to your church? Why do I come to your small group? So I challenge you to be prepared so that you’re ready. Do you have an answer? Just like the word talks about. Of course it’s talking about spiritual answers of salvation, but I believe it’s also talking about information about your church and ministry, because you need to be prepared to answer questions and to help somebody to connect. Try and get their info so you can follow up. So even if they don’t end up in your class, even if they don’t end up in your ministry, even if they don’t end up your Sunday school, you still have their information and you might be able to even help them belong somewhere else. So we talked about why people don’t come back. We talked about connecting outside the building, the church and the community. We’ve talked about connecting them within the building. Now we’re going to talk about connecting within your Sunday school class, in your small group, okay? I look at our time, make sure we’re doing okay. So whether someone is new or regular, this list is going apply to both. So just kind of thinking in your mind. Well, I have a ministry, we have a small group. We have a group that goes hiking. We have a group that meets on Sunday morning. We have a group that meets on Tuesday afternoon. It doesn’t matter. This is going to be a kind of a broad range, it’s going to fit all areas, okay? First thing that’s important is greeters. If you want your Sunday school, small group to grow, you’ve got to have people greeting them. Even if you’re doing it online, you got to have people welcoming them. And just like Eileen was doing, just like I was doing when you guys came on. You’ve got to say their name if you can, and it makes them go, “Wow, like they said my name.” And all of a sudden someone feels good and they feel like someone wants them to belong. Some wants them in the group. So acknowledging new people saying, “We’re so glad you’re here.” Hey they’ll be questions, sitting them down next to someone who’s kind of talk to them. Don’t put them on the front row, who the heck wants to be in the front row when you’re new, save those seats in the back. Leave some seats in the back for people who come in late that are nervous, but always want to sit them down next to somebody who’s gonna talk to them and find out more information. Get them a cup of coffee, get them a muffin or whatever, but help them. It’s really good also when the teacher comes up and says, “Hi, it’s nice to meet you, I’m the teacher today.” And they ask some open ended questions as well. So you got to have greeters. The greeters usually know how the class is structured. They know information about the class. They know what activities are going on. They’re the eyes and the ears of the class. So if they’re not doing this or the greeter don’t know how to do this, then you probably need to train them better. You also need exit greeters. You need people who say goodbye, have a great day. Or “Hey, can I walk you over a service.” Or “Hey, a bunch of us are going to lunch afterwards.” And again, you’re trying to connect. Remember the more places you touch, the higher chances that people will come back. We’re trying to find as many things we can in common with them. “Oh, you have a kid? I have a kid.” “Oh, you’re from the North side of town. “I’m from the North side of town.” “Oh, you work at Walmart. I worked at a Walmart one time.” And I’m just telling you, the more places we connect, even if some of those places disconnect, the higher the chances are that people will come back and they’ll stay. Because they feel loved, they feel cared about. They feel someone’s interested in them. Next is to have an ice breaker or set time for everyone to meet each other. In my Zoom I do on Wednesday nights, we have a little 10 minute time where people of come in and go out. And then we have, what’s called an after chat where afterwards, people can just talk if they wanna talk and get to know each other a little bit better and ask some additional questions. So you need to have that time as well, to be intentional. Icebreakers allow people to safely connect with each other and not feel uncomfortable, especially male to female. You know, and I had permission to go ask a guy what his favorite dessert is. I have permission to ask a girl, you know, favorite place to have a vacation. But maybe in other circumstances that would be weird or uncomfortable. So icebreakers are good to help people feel connected. Now not everybody likes them. And I always have a rule, listen, out of every 30 people, there’s at least two of you that hate them. So I tell you just to stay seated, doesn’t bother me a bit. But the other 28 of us really wanna meet somebody new. We really wanna get to know people in our class and find those things in common because during an ice breaker is sometimes when you find out, “Oh, you’ve been to Hawaii, “I’ve always wanted to go.” And you start a conversation. “Oh my goodness, your kids play this sport. “So does my kid.” “Oh my goodness, you’re divorced, I’m divorced.” And you have something in common. And again, that creates that connection. If you’d like I have on my website, I don’t sell a lot of things on my website, ’cause I give 99% of my website, it’s a gigantic website, the Wikipedia called the singlesnetwork.org on there, but I do sell about 200 icebreakers and small group exercises for like five bucks on my site. And it’s just to help, you know, generate some income for the ministry. But if you would love that, please go to the website and order it. It has got, I basically been collecting them for years, I rewrite them to fit groups when you have the opposite sex, ’cause some of these icebreakers do not work, if you know what I mean. The other thing you want to offer refreshments, have name tags. First name, big, last name, tiny. Use reusable, like where they slip the little thing and they clip. I can’t tell you how many ministries I go to and they like, “Well, half of them don’t wanna wear one.” Because they don’t get the purpose of the ministry. It’s not about them. And that’s a whole other conversation. But the purpose of a name tag is for somebody who doesn’t know you to help them feel more comfortable when they do come in for the first time. And especially if you make reference to Bob and Sue and Bob has got a name tag and Sue’s got a name tag, then it helps me to connect. And the more people I connect, the higher the chances are that I’m gonna come back. Have table discussion questions for the lesson. We don’t need another sermon. We need times where we can ask questions. We can sit around a table and discuss what we’ve just learned. Because again, the more information I find out, let’s say the topics are on disappointment. And we’re sitting around talking about disappointment. And all of a sudden Bob says, “Well, I didn’t understand what it is. “I just lost my marriage after 30 years.” And Joe’s over here saying, “I just lost my job.” And all of a sudden you see a connection of grief and sadness and they connect. And that’s where we’re gonna get the health, the growth and the things that are gonna keep people together and build the community of God. Encourage regulars to sit in different places saying talk to new people. Some people might not want to talk or share it’s okay. Leave them alone, but still follow up with them. Invite new people to lunch, walk them to service, ask them open, ended questions, get their info personally. Add them to your Facebook page, your email list. Let them know about other things going on in the church. Be sure to learn about their lives, their families, major life changes, divorce kids moving out, surgeries coming up, financial needs. The more we find out about each other, again, the higher the chance we’re gonna connect and the higher the chance we’re gonna stay connected. Remember, the more you know about a person, the more you’ll connect, the more places and more you have in common. This then what leads to keeping. So now we’ve talked about, “Oh, I’ve met my neighbor again. “We love to garden, we do roses. “Hey, let’s go to Lowe’s and go buy some roses together.” And we started conversation about roses. Then I say, “Hey, Susan, would you like to come? “I’d love for you to come to my church this Sunday. “And I have this awesome small group “that we have so much fun.” And then she’s like, “Sure,” she comes. And then three people call her on the phone and talk with her and chat with her email, whatever. Next thing she knows she’s like, “Wow, this is awesome, people really care in your ministry.” Next thing you know, it’s like, “Hey, we’re going to the Arboretum next week. “You wanna go? “Cause I know you like roses, and I like roses.” And you go and you find out, the layers get peeled back. And then you find out that Susie is really struggling with something and she needs a support group and she needs some friends. And that’s when it happens guys. That’s when it happens. Acts 2:44,45 says, “All the believers were together “and they had everything in common, “selling their possessions and goods. “They gave to anyone as he had need.” What I love about this scripture in Acts is that married or single, you looked around and you went, this person needs a car. This person needs gas money, this person needs groceries. This person needs just an arm around them that says, I love you. I know a lot of us are worried about the COVID going around or whatever, but you know, I just feel I like to hug people. If I have to hug, I hug them. I just feel like I wanna do what Jesus would do. I’ve got a brain in my head, I’m not being stupid. But if God says hug them, I hug them. That’s where we are. Look into our Sunday school and our small groups. Do we really know the people that are there? Are we really helping? And I’m not talking about those that are there. And again, that don’t leave and you wish they would leave because all they do is sponge off of you. Their life never changes, you know, it’s been months, it’s been years and they’re in the same place. And I call them spinners. They just spin, spin, spin, spin, spin, they do the same thing, they never change, wang, wang, wang. They wished their life would change but wang, wang… Let’s not talk about them. I’m talking about those that wanna change. And they’re hungry for the word of God and they’re hungry for fellowship and they’re hungry for support. And they could turn out to be the most amazing leader one day. Just like you, maybe when it was your first time, or you coming and you didn’t know anybody or maybe there’s stuff going on in your life. And you’re so glad somebody reached out to you and listened to you. That’s what I love about this verse is that nobody went with that need, everybody did whatever they took to build community and to help each other. I’m so thankful for the people who have helped me, that have blessed me. People that have come in and helped me. I have somebody that helped me get a car, not too long ago, that I needed. My car was like, you know, we’re laying hands on it just praying to get to the next intersection, you know, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for people who call me and check on me and say, “Kris, how are you doing? “How’s traveling going? “How’s the ministry going?” We need each other folks. This is gonna help people belong. And they feel like you care. Romans 12:5 says, “So in Christ, we who are many “form one body and each member belongs to all the others.” Most churches encourage us to join. What’s the difference between joining and belonging? Think about a necklace. Even think about this necklace that I’m wearing. I can join this necklace, kind of like this one. I can join it and I’m joined it, but I’m hanging off the end here. But only when you become a part of the necklace, one of these, do you belong. And so we spend so much time saying, “Join our church, join our ministry.” Even I slip up and say that word sometimes, but joining does not mean you’re included. And joining does not mean your part of the group. Is the perception of your ministry a club? Is it a big click, a big Holy huddle? A Holy huddles where people are inward focused, and they forget about those around them. They forget what it feels like to walk in for the first time. When people come into your groups, do you guys look like you’re inwardly talking and unlike looking like you’re in a huddle or are you looking to me as I walk in. In the same way in anything that we do out there and in our churches, do we look welcoming? Do we look like we care? So here’s a few steps to remind you. Some may be duplicates of what I’ve said, but it’s just a list of how do we help people belong so they stay, so they keep coming back? Not perfection, ’cause you know, people have junk, stuff’s going on in their lives. Sometimes we mess up, we don’t do a good job. Sometimes we didn’t follow up like we should have. Sometimes people may misunderstood us and think that we weren’t being nice, but we were. Maybe we didn’t give them the attention, ’cause they’re going through something tough. Or maybe it’s it was just an off day for us. It’s not perfect, you know, but I think we could do a lot better if you follow these few tips. First one, be welcoming and inviting. It needs to feel good when people visit, they need to go, “Wow, this place is awesome, I really feel.” Now I’m not talking about 10 people, “Hey, hey, how you doing?! No, no, no, no, I’m not talking about that ’cause that’s overwhelming. But if somebody comes in, and you give them my eye contact. Give them a handshake, a touch on the shoulder, “We’re so glad you’re here. “Come over here, tell me a little bit about yourself. “What brought you to our city? “What brought you to our ministry?” Be organized, my pet peeve is lack of organization in our ministries. Our leaders, our teachers, our volunteers, we all need to be trained. How in the world, I talked about this with starting the singles ministry, you want your Sunday school class, your ministry, to look like an operating room. Everyone has a job, everybody knows their job. Everybody knows what’s to be expected of their job. Everybody’s trained in their job, but everybody works together as a team and they work well together. So when somebody comes into your ministry in needs to flow, somebody grabs me at the front and gets your name tag. We find out something fresh about you. I’m gonna walk you over to sit down with somebody who knows you, that person’s gonna ask you more questions. We’re gonna hang out, we’re gonna get to know each other. We’re gonna enjoy ourselves and we’re gonna get up. We’re gonna maybe go eat afterwards. We’re gonna eat or I’m gonna invite you to come and hang out with us. It is even, there’s a smooth flow. We’re gonna get you the information you need about our ministry, help you in any way that we can. Organized, makes people feel safe. Unorganized, creates anxiety, especially when it looks like there’s 10 chiefs and that’s it. When it looks like there’s 10 people running things and yet no one is doing anything or the opposite one person is running and the rest of them are just kind of sitting there. Another one, great follow up. You got to have great follow up for new and regular 10 days. You got to have a really good system to make sure you’re not five people calling the same person at the same time. Are are we calling them? I don’t like the letters that we used to get. Remember those we used to get, you go to a church, they send you this formal letter. And you’re like, I don’t even think they knew who I was. I worked at a church once years ago that before you got home, they would call, leave a message on your machine. Of course, this is back when they were machines. But in that be cool that before somebody could even leave, you could text him and say, “Thanks for coming to our class.” And they’d be like, “Wow, that is so cool.” Or a regular attendees, letting them know, “We missed you, thank you for coming.” Don’t ever assume because they are regular attending, you know them, that they still don’t wanna be acknowledged. They still don’t wanna be remembered and valued that they’re there. Don’t forget about those as well, because those are the ones that are serving. Those are the ones that are tidying. Those are the ones that are doing a lot of the work. But if we forget to also acknowledge when they’re not there, we lose those, how are we gonna get the rest of them? So follow up in your communication. A follow up is communicating you care about the person and their lives. You care about what you’ve heard them say, you care what they’ve shared. You care because Jesus cared. Make sure that you’re willing in your followup to meet them one-on-one. “Hey was great having you in our class, “love to have coffee with you this week.” or “Love to do a Zoom call with you “and get to know you a little bit better. “I’d like to hear your story. “Tell me a little bit more about yourself.” I think it’s awesome. I think people feel loved and cared for. You have to kind of fill it out ’cause some are like, you know, it kind of stare like this. Well, you know, they’re waiting to see if it’s a place they wanna join. You need to remember things that people have told you. If they’ve had kids, if they’ve been married, how they found out about your church. Again so that you can remember to say it back to them. I once greeted with this older gentleman that used to have a note pad and he would write down things about people, ’cause he couldn’t remember. And then he’d say as they were leaving the church, “Well, what did you think about that church? “And what did your little boy, Tommy, “think about the church.” And people would be like, “Wow, he remembers.” What I love about Facebook guys is that when you message somebody on Facebook, you can look at your thread and you can see other conversations that you might’ve had with them. And you could see that their mother was sick or they’re taking care of their child right now, or they lost their job. And then you could say, “Hey, how’s the job hunting going?” That makes people feel they belong ’cause somebody cares. You need to connect them with others who might also have something in common with them. Try walking them to after service into their car and find out a little bit more information that even though maybe you don’t have everything in common with them, you know somebody else who does. And that also helps them. I’m a big networker, and I think networking people’s amazing. But you gotta make sure the person you’re networking them with will also follow up. You need to connect them also to any programs in your church or events that are happening. Remember you wanna be sticky. You want them to be sticky. You want them to stick to things. And so connecting them to other people besides yourself and connecting them to an event or something’s going on in your church, increases the connection. And even if they disconnect for one, they’re still connected to the other, that’s awesome. Remember when people feel loved and cared for, included, they’ll begin to belong. Galatians 6:10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, “let us do good to all people, “especially those who belong to the family of believers.” So you say, okay, what about those who attend but aren’t connecting? “You know, Kris, we’ve done everything. “You know I’ve come around them. “I’ve hugged them, I gave them a muffin. “I gave him a cup of coffee, I talked about their mama, “talked about their kid. “You know, I gave him a couple bucks for gas “and they’re still not consistent. “They’re not coming on a regular basis. “They’re surely not serving. “They’re not helping out or doing nothing, what do I do?” Have you spent time with them personally? Is it just by email and a text? Have you actually made an effort to spend time and pick up the phone and say, “Hey, let’s go get a cup of coffee, “I’d like to know about you.” That’s what I do when I work with certain ministries is I try to have coffee with everybody in the ministry, at least once. Because what I wanna do is I wanna find out enough about them to see if I’m the person who’s supposed to connect to, or is it somebody else. Now realize that you can’t be friends with everybody that you have coffee with. And if you’re gonna start new friendships, some friendships have to go. And I know that it takes time, but if you’re doing it for the purpose of seeing what God would want you to do, then it doesn’t matter because then God will manage to fit them in your life. But that initial conversation by Zoom or FaceTime or a cup of coffee in person is to simply get to know them better, but also to find out why aren’t they coming? What’s going on in their life? Maybe you find out that they’re taking care of their elderly mother, or maybe you find that they got hurt. You know, heaven forbid they got hurt. They don’t wanna come back to church, wang, wang, I love those ’cause they think church, I guess, isn’t a bunch of perfect people anyway. But it is good to find out why. Why aren’t they jumping in and helping? Why aren’t they serving? Why did they think it’s the responsibility of the same three or four people? A lot of times it’s spiritual maturity is what you find out. Sometimes they need somebody to come beside them. Somebody that you know, they need someone to show them how to do the work you’re asking them to do. Years ago, I had a lady who was a problem in the ministry and she complained all the time and cut down men. And it was an issue, and had anger issues. And so I gave her two jobs to do. I had her come early to pray for the ministry ahead of time. And I also had her to clean up in between classrooms and it changed her whole life because she had something to do. Again, it goes back to that asking, remember that earlier, you gotta to ask them. And if they still say, no, they say no, but at least we asked them. Be prepared to ask them why they aren’t involved. Find out if you can help them to get connected. You know, maybe there is another area that could be better in maybe your class isn’t the right class for them. Maybe whatever they’re saying is the problem or the ministry you can fix, you can’t and it might be better to be somewhere else. I had to tell somebody that today. Somebody made a comment to me and said that there was something they didn’t like or whatever. And I said, “You know, maybe we’re just not “the place for you. “Maybe it’d be better for you to find another group.” I don’t think they wanted to hear that. I think they wanted me to go, “Oh, sure, let me just take… “This all about you, let me just fix everything for you.” But I’m not that kind of person. I’ll do the best I can to help, but then it comes to a point to where some people’s whining and complaining, they just like to want and complain or they’re control freaks, you know. Everything that I do in ministry, I answer to God, I answer to my board and I answer to my team of leaders. And so decisions are made, most of them are made with that team involved. So to make a change for somebody, just because of one person’s thoughts or opinion, I can’t do that. I wouldn’t want to. I’d want to have a team that would help me. And that’s part of the problem with our ministries and our Sunday school and our classes, we don’t have team. We got one or two people doing everything, we don’t have a team. And you can’t build a ministry, a healthy ministry without a team. Where everybody knows their job. Everybody can train somebody to do their job. Everybody knows what’s expected of their job and that when you have a greeter and you have a person in charge of prayer in your Sunday school class. And you have a person in charge of marketing, someone’s in charge of teaching. And we all work together because we all get it’s about Jesus, about bringing people to Jesus. We work well together as a team, but at the same time I can greet if I have to and I can teach if I have to. We can also not make it only about your job or my job. And some of that relational part is there. But at the same time, we are structured. Jesus is about structure, he likes structure. He’s not about just suit up and whatever happens happens. We’re going to be organic. No, Jesus had structure, there’s a reason for it. Organization, it’s a good thing. But don’t get too far the other way ’cause then it doesn’t feel like you care or you’re relational at all. I love to ask people. I love to ask people to help me right away, anybody that’s new, I’ll say, “Hey, will you help me stack chairs?” And they look at you like, “Sure.” “Hey, will you help me get the trash up?” “Okay.” Sometimes they go, “Oh, I’ve got to go.” “Okay, bye.” Sometimes they go, “Well sure.” And I do that because I call it voluntelling. If some of you are watching this, that know me really well, you’ve been voluntold probably, but I voluntell you because I want to see what you’re gonna do. Because most of the time, you’re just wanting someone to ask you. and you just want something to do because you like to serve. It feels good to serve, it feels good to help somebody. And I wanna see what you’re gonna do because if you don’t want, you might do it again. And if you do it again, you might do it a third time and then before you know it I’m saying, “Hey, would you come every week and help us stack chairs? “Would you come every week and help us clean up?” And they see now they’re part of the team and they belong to the ministry. The problem is we had a lot of people that do everything all the time and we don’t delegate and we don’t challenge anybody. And we don’t ask other people to do it and involve them in the ministry of God. I will ask them if they’ve ever taken a spiritual gift test, do they know what their gifts and talents are? Or do they know where the strengths are? Maybe that’s why they’re not involved. Maybe that’s why they’re not serving. ‘Cause they really don’t know what their area is. Do you ever pray with them? Prayer can create a better connection and accountability and then follow up with them to see on things that you’ve talked about. “Hey, let’s, you know, we had a cup of coffee “and we talked about how you can belong “and how you can be more in class.” You gotta follow up, you can’t just say, “Well, come be a part of the class.” No, you can say, “Hey, we’d love to have you as a greeter.” “Hey, we’re having some greeter training “in a couple of weeks, “love for you to be in that greeter training.” Or “Hey love for you to help be a table host “and lead some discussion questions. “We’re gonna have some training on that “or are gonna have a Zoom training .” Or you know, whatever, but follow up with whatever conversation you had with them and why they’re not there. Affirm positive behavior. When they do something good say, “Thank you so much for greeting. “That was an awesome question, thank you for that input. “Thank you for bringing that cake. “Oh my gosh, thank you for hugging that lady “who smelled really bad.” And here’s the thing, if they’re still not involved or continue to be sporadic in attendance, wait on God to release them from you and move on to others. 1st John 2:19 says, “They went out from us, “but they never really belonged to us. “For if they had belonged to us, “they would have remained with us, “but their going shows that none of them belong to us.” And so I say this to say that, you know, there’s people that we work really hard to help them to connect. We work really, really hard to help them belong. And it still doesn’t seem to be a good fit. I wouldn’t waste the time on them anymore. You can pray for them, but for the handful that are just there for the wrong reasons, there’s a handful or 10 times more that just need your attention. Don’t let the enemy distract you with those that are really not there to grow and not there to help your Sunday school class grow, or your small group grow. But focus on the ones that even though they might be a little weird or they’re not there yet, or they need some training or they’re shy or they’re insecure, but there’s potential. Remember the acronym faithful, available and teachable. Let’s look for those faithful people. Let’s look for those people that are available and they’re teachable and you’ll see your whole ministry change. You’ll see your whole Sunday school class grow and it’ll make a difference in the world. Thanks so much guys for listening. Thank you Eileen, for allowing me to talk to everybody about contacting, connecting and keeping to infinity and beyond.

– Yes, and Kris, as you were talking, I got to thinking, you know, at my church, we’re not back in the building. How can we connect and connect during these COVID times, what we need to be doing?

– Well, that’s good that you asked that and I am going to, was gonna pull up a handout that I had on that, and it should have been right here. Here we go. So one of the things that I did as far as contacting people out, because I realized that we’re not in the building, but connecting with people out in our community doesn’t have to change. So even if your church is online right now or your churches, you’re doing a Zoom Bible study, you can still invite them to your Zoom Bible study. That part hasn’t changed. Let me show you something that I bought online that has totally changed connecting. Now wearing a mask out and about people, you can’t tell you’re like, it looks like you’re smiling, sort of behind your mask, right? People can’t see, you’re like, “I am smiling, can’t you tell?” Okay, you can’t tell. So nobody talks to anybody unless you need something off the top shelf, you know. Nobody talks to anybody unless you’re calling your name from the doctor’s office. So I got one of these masks, okay. And so I started wearing this out and I started smiling and all of a sudden, everywhere I go, I get conversations. Everybody wants to talk to me. Everybody wants to know where I got it. And then they feel comfortable and then they feel fun. And they feel like, you know, maybe we have a little normalcy. So I have found that one little thing that I did has made the biggest difference in the connecting, the part that’s outside of my house. From there, you can start a conversation, however, where you want to, or still could be family, still could be friends, but then I would invite them to your Zoom and just say, you know, “Here’s the code.” Then email them, text them and say, “Hey, did you get the code? “Are you gonna be able to join us tonight? “I’ll look for you on the Zoom.” They show up on the Zoom, you acknowledged them on the Zoom. You chat in the chat section. “Hey Susie, I’m so glad you joined us.” Or what we do with my Zoom is I’ll acknowledge every person on there. “Hey Joe, hey Bob, it’s so glad to have you. “Oh Sue, you’re new.” And then inevitably the other person who invited them will say, “Yes, that’s my friend, Sue.” Or “Yes, I invited Sue, I met her at the grocery store.” And she’s like, “Hey, I’ll join your group.” And so now we have two touches, three touches, touch to the grocery store, touched and invited her, touched her when she saw her on the Zoom. And then I touch, which is the fourth one. Then they’re gonna go into small groups. We really encourage you do break out sessions. Because again, right now we can’t physically see each other in person. So having a breakout session is the fifth touch, you know, and then having a prayer time for us is the sixth. And then we do after chat, which we allow people afterwards to just talk. That’s like seven touches. And I believe years ago, Eileen, wasn’t there a book where a guy says, you need seven touches to feel connected. So, touching, I think he meant physically, but I think today it’s just making a connection, right? So I would say, once you get them on the Zoom, it’s the same thing. You’re trying to find out things you have in common. You’re trying to find out, you know, how do we know each other? How can I help you? Last night on my Zoom, we had one gentleman put in the chat section, he says, “I’m really struggling with isolation and depression.” Three people right away said, I’m gonna call you, what’s your phone number? I’m gonna call you. And he felt comfortable to say, “Hey, I’m struggling.” And people felt comfortable to say, “I’m gonna follow up.” So that’s very important. If your Zoom feels where people feel comfortable enough that they can put those questions or privately text you and say, “I’m really struggling, I have a prayer need.” When they go into the breakouts, there’s another level of chance that it can share. Again, the connecting is the same. The more places that I feel acknowledged and valued and included, the higher the chances I’m gonna come back, the higher chances I’m gonna get involved. And then when you’re back in your building, you’ve added five, 10, 20 people to your ministry, that history resume. And here’s one of the things Eileen, what I’m doing next weekend, a week from Saturday, is I’m just doing a hike. So we just put the word out, we’re going on a hike. Same thing, depending on where you live and your state, your city and your zones, if you can do some still activities, I would go, you know. But meet outside and still have the social part of it. But it’s all because of based on the foundation of the word of God in Zoom, then you see the fruit is the social time.

– Awesome, Debra had a question and she said, “How do we get those who are reluctant “to grow a relationships with others in the small group, “beyond the leader?”

– Yeah, ’cause the leader is like, you know, the doctor, the teacher, the lawyer, is someone of authority and it makes them feel, you know, they’re drawn to that person ’cause that person’s giving them a solution for their life right now. We’re all drawn to people that we feel know what they’re doing versus what we’re doing. You have to be intentional about finding out enough about them. You have to ask people in your group to contact them directly. So if you’ve got a lady Julie, and you’re like, “Julie, I want you to call Susie. “And I want you to ask for a coffee.” And then, so you have to get people to intentionally, that’s where you have leaders. And so your leaders jobs are to then follow up with the people in the group and call them and have coffee or chat with them or texts with them and to build relationships. You just have to in… This is something else too, I do too, Eileen. So on the chat or if you have everybody in Zoom or everybody in your living room, either way is you might say, “Well, Joe, that’s a good question. “Eileen I believe, has got some background in that.” Or, “You know, Joe, that’s a great situation. “Hey, Wes is also a single dad. “I think he could probably help, you guys need to talk.” And that’s what I do. But I had to know enough about Wes, I have to know enough about Joe, to be able to create the connection. So I put it on them hoping that they will, but does that help Deborah? I don’t know if that helps you or not. You can let Eileen know that answers your question.

– She also had another question and this may be something that you’re gonna address on Saturday, but should there be certain criteria for those who are small group leaders, who lead the small group? So I’m not sure if she means like at the table talk or like leading the Bible study.

– I don’t know either, so say the question again.

– Should there be a criteria for those who lead small groups, some kind of prerequisite?

– Well, I mean, if you’re looking for someone to be a teacher, obviously, right? I mean, if you’re a teacher, you definitely have to make sure that you guys believe spiritually the same thing and their ability to teach. But teaching is also the ab… You know, I always have… I love to train people to be teachers by having them facilitate. So I start them off with facilitating. Actually I even go farther back, Eileen, I will have them share a 10 minute testimonial and then I’ll have them, you know, go to a 20 minute testimonial. And then I might have them facilitate the teaching. And then I have them actually become the teacher. And then we might multiply and multiply into another group. So that would be obviously, that they can teach, they can follow up, they have good eye contact, they can carry the message through. So, you know, I’m looking for someone that I’m gonna mentor underneath me to then maybe multiply and build and have their own ministry. But I don’t know if that’s what you’re talking about, Deborah, or you’re talking about somebody that’s leading a ministry, but not the teacher. Because there’s two things in like Sunday school and small group ministry. Sometimes we have teachers that are just really good at teaching, but they’re terrible leaders, okay? They’re not really a leader. They’re there just to teach and they love to teach, you can tell, cause they’re history buffs, and then they go away, we never see them again. And they never come to our gatherings. They never make phone calls, they’re just teachers. And then you have, what’s called directors. So directors actually direct the ministry. They direct the small group and they build the team. So they’re gonna have the prayer leader. They’re gonna have the greeter. They’re gonna have the hospitality. They’re gonna have the marketing. They serve underneath them. And it’s the director’s job, preferably male and female, to build the team, to help train the team and to help each team build their team. So you need more than one greeter, if you’re gonna have 25 people in Sunday school, you know, you’re gonna need more than one prayer leader. And so that person as a director, probably was in charge of prayer at one time. Was in charge of marketing at one time. And you saw that they had an incredible gift of management, that incredible gift of leadership. And then that’s when you say, “Wow, you guys would make a great director.” But I like co-directors because life happens and you don’t want to ever have it on one person. And typically their skill sets different too. You might have an extrovert and an introvert, high admin, more relational, and they make a really good team. Is that what she was wanting?

– If she hasn’t posted any other clarification. Co-leads she said, is another great answer. Yeah, so it helped.

– This is our taste, something we learned, you know. Some of you guys know that you’re watching this. We have our big retreat labor day at singles.org that got canceled this year, break my heart in a million pieces. But we have an incredible team of people. Well, about two years ago, literally three days before our retreat started and it takes us 200 people. It takes all year to plan this retreat. Three days before the retreat, the lady in charge of all of our volunteers quit and left us in a really big mess. And so when we learned from this, every position had to have a co-leader from that point on and because life does happen. And what happened is I had to scramble and I had to get some other leaders to scramble and I’m the teacher and I’ve got to teach and run the ministry, it’s too hard to do. So we learned that point on that we would never, ever, ever have any positions in our ministry, without a co-leader as well as a team. And then from that team is where you get your next leaders, you see? And then eventually somebody could be, you know, you could have a directors over the whole thing. But we also have job descriptions, we started writing job descriptions. Even though our events only once a year, we still felt that we needed to have something on writing that is people who ended up serving. We’d have something to give them, even if they read it and go, “You know, I can’t do all this.” Or “I don’t agree with all this.” Or “I don’t feel alright to do all this.” “Fine, what would you put on there?” And if they write it, then it usually it creates an ownership for them, when they’ve written part of their own job description. But yeah, definitely, co-lead. So the first one is connect people together, give them the responsibility to talk to each other, you know about them and you connect them, follow up and see if they did connect. Remember you gotta follow up, follow up, follow up. And then the other one is looking for that person. And here’s thing y’all, in Sunday school and in our small groups, not all of them are perfect. You know, some classes, you have a hundred people in a class. Like in my church, we have some classes that are hundred in size because the teaching is phenomenal. But the reason why they’re a hundred in size is because there’s also really good followup. There’s also somebody who, “Hey, how you doing? “We haven’t seen you.” “Hey, you want some snacks? “Hey, can you help us do this? “Can you help us do that?” So teaching is wonderful, but if people are gonna really feel that it’s somewhere where I can belong and I wanna serve, you have to have the other part. So without someone in charge of the food and someone in charge of prayer and all that, working together as a team, the class can’t grow. It’s just gonna be one person at the front teaching. And then people will come in and out all the time, they’ll come in and out and they won’t belong. They’ll just be, you know, like a herd of cattle in and out.

– Those are the questions, I have another one. We’re horrible at followup, so is there a simple system to use? You know, like you said earlier, you didn’t want 12 people contacting one and nobody contacting number two, viscerally. How do you keep records of that? I know you are great at organization.

– You know, the old fashion way, some classes are still doing, you know, the three part sign up sheets, you know, somebody comes in and they sign up on a sheet, there’s three parts and one goes to the office and one goes to the teacher and one goes to the followup team. You can still do that. You can have, or sign up, you know, a clipboard or you can still do it through the computer. Everybody comes in and there’s an iPad and people check in. But the thing is, it has to be a dedicated team. There’s gotta be people that, that’s what they do. There’s three people and their job is to follow up, guy to guy, girl to girl, whatever. But develop a structure that is consistent, it’s not all in one person. And then you keep notes, okay. Now, if you’re on staff, you can keep notes in the backend with ACS or, you know, one of those programs, right. You can put in there like, “Oh, I called Susie. “She right now is just filed bankruptcy “and she’s got cancer.” And you don’t want everybody to know all that, okay. So on staff, you have access to those records and other staff people do too. But if it’s volunteer, what do you do? So I would say you’d sign a confidentiality agreement, but among that team, in which you would keep information private, you follow up and you keep notes. So I build websites as well. I do some marketing advertising on the side. And I would build websites for different churches where, or I would suggest a private page on the site where people who were in charge of follow up would go to that page. And they would have a list of all the people in the classes. And they could put notes in and say, “I called Susie today, she wasn’t home.” Then it’s Bob’s turn. Bob called Susie and they talked on the phone. Then it’s Joan’s turn. Joan sent her a personal note and she responded back. So that way we’re kind of like, we’re all taking turns, but I can also see what we did. So the old days it was all paper, but today we’re digital. And so keeping track, and then also, what do they say back? So if Susie’s like, you know, “Right now I’m looking for a job.” And she tells everybody, well then great, we all know she’s looking for a job. But if she says, you know, “I’m really struggling financially.” And it’s not something everybody needs to know, but those followup people need to know so that when the second person calls and says, “How are things going? “Were you able to get some support “or were you able to go to church?” That person knows, and then they’re not having to say their whole story again to a second followup person. Cause the goal here is not to be getting people’s junk. The goal here is to connect to them, to help them belong, to help them know somebody is listening. But I like notes, and especially if they’re weird, I like notes. I like it when they go, “This guy said some weird things.” Or “This girl is, oh my goodness, she’s a little nuts.” I wanna know that before I contact them. I wanna know if it’s somebody out safely would feel comfortable talking on the phone or FaceTiming, but I would just keep a group small, but it needs to be enough people. And that’s their job. Understand, Eileen, a few years ago I learned a ton about… So this is coming from Brandon and his wife, Catherine. So 30 years, 25, seven years ago, I belong to this church and he greeted unofficially, no greeting team. And his wife followed up, no follow up team. They got tired of nobody greeting and nobody following up. So they just created it. And I met them and I said, “Where’s the committee?” ‘Cause you know, we’re Baptist, “Where’s the committee?” And they said, “There is no committee. “We didn’t ask permission, we’re just doing it.” So I said, “Well, can I greet?” And he said, “Yeah, get the young ones and get the women. I’ll get the old ones and the men.” And we greeted for seven years. And we developed the entire first impression ministry of the church. We trained up people to know how do you properly greet? What is the process? What does it look like then? Then, okay they fill out the little piece of paper in Sunday school or they fill it out in church or they don’t fill out anything, but you don’t recognize them, they are somebody that you don’t know. We would find out their information. He would write it on a little note pad. And he would call them himself way before the church ever got to them ’cause the church was like, “Why don’t we send out a letter, then we wait.” And then, you know, three weeks later, the person’s gone somewhere else. So Catherine, we would literally take a stack of sheets that people filled out and we would physically on Sunday afternoon go to their homes. Now, today, people are like, “Don’t be coming to my house, I don’t know you.” It’s the same thing, we’re trying to connect with them. So as quickly as possible to follow up with those new people, by texting them, by picking up the phone, calling them. I think now everybody’s about texting to say, “Hey, we love having the class. “It was great to hear it about your son. “That was really funny what you said. “That shirt was beautiful, girl, “I need to know where you bought that shirt.” That is going to make the hugest difference in their life. But that means you have to care, right Eileen?

– Exactly, Kris, the thing I was thinking about when you were talking about that connecting, many, many, many years ago, early in my first teaching job, just out of college. I moved to a new location and I went to church on Sunday night. I didn’t go Sunday morning and went Sunday… No, I did go Sunday morning, and I went to a singles. This was when singles was just starting. This would be 1975, 76 old, I’m old. That afternoon, the directors, it was a married couple, came to visit me. I had no furniture in my house. I had a dining room table or a card table, I think it was. We sat on the floor. They were an older couple. He was retired and they just acted like that was the most normal thing in the world. Well, I went back that night and joined the church. I just felt like there was a connection. So it is so important for–

– Well, I just want for somebody to acknowledge that they even saw me. They even acknowledged that I was there or even wanna ask me, you know, “Tell me more about yourself, tell me your story.” I remember the old days people did a pounding, you know, and definitely aging myself where you, somebody that was new, you would give them a pound of sugar and a pound of flour. But what does that look like today? The first time I joined that church that I was just talking about. I joined the choir ’cause that’s where all the gossip is, if there is any. And the lady turned to me and she said, “Hey, it’s so nice to meet you, I’m glad you’re here.” And I’m thinking she called me by name. “Hi, Kris, it’s nice to meet you, glad you’re here.” And I’m like, this gonna be my church because I’ve gone over all other churches and nobody even knew or noticed me. So if we know what it feels like to be ignored and not loved. I mean, and understand as singles just in general, we’re already feeling that way. So let’s not be a part of this problem. Let’s be part of the solution and not make it about our singleness, make it about Jesus, make it about people who need to hear from God. You know what? I talked about this the other night, we talked about this last night, my Zoom study, you know, even if you died and their spouse dies, if you’re a married person, you’re still gonna go before Jesus by yourself. And so to me, it’s like, I just wanna reach people for the Lord to build a kingdom, to build a whole kingdom. And so think of creatively. Think of what people like today. Now, some of you who are watching this know that I message people on Facebook. I message two to 300 people week on Facebook and I’ll go, “Are you coming? Are you coming? “Are you coming?” And then I look in the thread and go, “Oh, how’s your mum? Oh, how’s your dog? Hey, how’s your job? And I do this because this is my way of connecting with people. I feel that it helps me to stay connected to them. They remember, “Oh, I forgot to pray about her job. “Oh, I forgot to pray about her mom.” And it helps me to remember. What kills me is when people are not on Facebook. Where they’re like, “Just text me or just email me.” And I gotta remember those to email. Cause I don’t, you know, it’s easy to just to have you all on Facebook. But I think that makes a difference, Eileen. And just the connecting. But you have to be intentional. You have to do it every week. You can’t do it once every three months and go, “Well, I’ve done my part.”

– That is the key intentionality, intentionality for sure. I don’t see any other questions that have been listed. We’re so glad that you participated in this Zoom call and know that we’ll be here bright and early for me on a Saturday morning at 8:30, I might still be in pajamas and have a cup of coffee. But Corina girl, it’ll be in the afternoon. You’ll be doing better. I hope you can go to bed in just a few minutes. And we appreciate you joining with us and we appreciate all of you being here today. I see names, I see Debra, Lorianne, Pamela and Pat. Thank you so much for being on. Doug and Lori have been in the background. They also work with a young adults. And so we’re just glad that they’re there.

– And you know, what I was gonna ask everybody to is watch this does coach who permanently at on the website is to just let other people know about it. Get the information to them, duplicate it, or having your team, sit down your class sit down and watch it together. And most of you know how to find me. You can email me, you could say, “Kris, we’re gonna watch your video on Zoom. “We’re gonna share the screen, “we’re watch your video on zoom. “Would you be able to be a part of our Zoom meeting “and then answer any more questions or help us?” I would love to do that, so just let me know.

– Yeah, exactly. Hey at least, let me pray, and we’ll conclude for tonight. Lord, I just thank you for this time. I thank you for Kris and for her wisdom, her insight, her enthusiasm, as she leads us Father. You can tell that you have placed a call on her life and that you have anointed her in this ministry. Father as we digest this information, may we just think of ways individually, each of us can do a part of this ministry and gather others to join us in as we do that ministry. Thank you father for loving us. I pray that we have a good night’s rest tonight. Wake restored, and energized to serve you tomorrow in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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