Connection Coach

CONNECTION COACH

Assimilating new members to become active members in our church

PART 1 – Understanding Your Work

5 Questions to Answer for Potential Church Members
(Adapted from Pastors.com 4/3/2018, by Rick Warren)

Church, you may have a large crowd of attendees on Sunday morning — and still not have a congregation.  The fact is that the crowd must become a church.  People must be assimilated.

___________ is simply the task of moving people from an awareness of your church, to attendance at your church, and then to active membership in your church.

  • The ___________ talks about “that”
  • The ___________ talks about “this”
  • The ___________ talks about “our church” (and my church).

Members have a sense of ownership.  They are contributors, not just consumers.

Because the incorporation of new members into your church does not happen automatically, you have to develop a system and structure to assimilate and ___________ the people you reach.

The first part of an assimilation system is a set of QUESTIONS we ask ourselves:

  1. What does God ___________ from members of His church?
  2. What do we expect from our members _______  _____?
  3. What kind of people already make up our congregation?
  4. How will that change in the next _____  ___  _____ years?
  5. What do our members value?
  6. What are new members’ greatest ___________?
  7. What are our long-term members’ greatest needs?
  8. How can we make membership more meaningful?
  9. How can we ensure that members feel ___________ and ___________ for?
  10. What do we owe our members?
  11. What resources or services could we offer our members?
  12. How could we add ___________ to what we already offer?

Because your congregation has a unique history, culture, and growth rate, these questions are important.  The answers will determine the assimilation plan that’s best for your situation.  But you’re not the only one with questions.  Before ___________ members commit to joining your church, they want to know the answers to five unspoken questions:

  1. Do I fit here?

This is a matter of _____________.  The question is best answered by establishing affinity groups within your church so that people with similar ages, interests, problems, or backgrounds can find and relate to each other.  Everyone needs a niche, and small groups play a crucial role in meeting this need.  You must show people that you have a place for them.

  1. Does anyone want to know me?

This is the question of ___________.  The best response is to create opportunities for people to develop relationships within the congregation.  There are an unlimited number of ways you can do this, but it takes planning.  Remember, people are not looking for a friendly church as much as they are looking for friends.  People deserve individual attention.

  1. Am I needed?

This is a question of ___________.  People want to make contributions with their lives.  They want their lives to count.  They want to feel that they matter.  When you show people that they can make a difference with their gifts and talents by joining your church, they will want to be involved.  Position your church as a creative place that needs the expression of all sorts of talents and abilities, not just singers, ushers, and Sunday School teachers.

  1. What is the advantage of joining?

This is the question of ___________.  You must be able to clearly and concisely explain the reasons and benefits of membership.  Explain the Biblical, practical, and personal reasons for membership.

  1. What is required of members?

This is the question of ___________.  You must be able to explain the responsibilities of membership as clearly as you state its benefits.  People have a right to know what is expected of them before they join.

These five unspoken questions lead to the second section of understanding your work:  CLASS (or, CLASS/COACH)

 

CLASS/COACH
(Note:  Basic Training is KFBC’s membership class)

A membership class is the most important class in your church.  A strong membership class will build a strong congregation.  A weak membership class will build a weak congregation.  But keep in mind that a “strong” class doesn’t necessarily mean a “long” class.

The class is no more than four hours long and is taught all on one day, but it produces a high level of___________ in membership.  Those who choose to join the church know exactly what will be expected of them as members.  The strength of a membership class is determined by its content and call for commitment, not its length.

Your membership class should answer the following questions:

  • What is a church?
  • What are the ___________ of the church?
  • What are the ___________ of being a member?
  • What are the ___________ for membership?
  • What are the ___________ of membership?
  • What are the vision and strategy of this church?
  • How is the church ___________?
  • How can I get involved in ministry?
  • What do I ___  _____ once I become a member?

Here are a few tips for your membership class:

  • Include a clear explanation of salvation in your membership class because you will have many people who want to join your church who aren’t even believers yet! Always explain that ___________  ___________ is the first requirement for membership.
  • Keep your membership class interesting and interactive by using video clips, a notebook with fill-in curriculum, small group interaction, a meal together, etc. Include stories that personalize the history, values, and direction of your church.  Offer a quiz at the end of class to test participants on how well they can state the purposes of your church and other important concepts.
  • If possible, offer three versions of your membership class: a children’s version for older elementary kids, a youth version for junior high and high school, and the adult membership class.
  • Make ___________ of your membership class a requirement for membership. People who are uninterested or unwilling to learn your church’s purposes, strategy, and the meaning of membership are failing to demonstrate the kind of commitment that membership implies.  If they don’t _______  ___________ to understand the responsibilities of membership, they cannot be expected to fulfill them after joining.

Membership is an act of commitment.  The way you motivate people to make that commitment is to show them, value-for-value, the benefits they will gain in return.  When people understand and value membership, they will get excited about it — and what was once just a crowd will turn into a church.  (end of article)


  1. Review the section on CLASS/COACH. Underline all occurrences of the phrase “membership class” (12 total).  In each case, how is a connection coach similar?

 

  1. Prepare to undertake your work by:
    • Knowing other Connection Coaches and contact information.
    • Collecting resources that will aid your work.
    • Reviewing church websites for answers to anticipated questions:

 

  1. Answers to fill-in-the-blank, in order of appearance:
    • Assimilation
    • Community
    • Crowd
    • Congregation
    • keep
    • expect
    • right now
    • five to ten
    • needs
    • loved (and) cared
    • value
    • prospective
    • ACCEPTANCE
    • FRIENDSHIP
    • VALUE
    • BENEFIT
    • EXPECTATIONS
    • commitment
    • purposes
    • benefits
    • requirements
    • responsibilities
    • organized
    • do next
    • trusting Christ
    • completion
    • care enough

 



 

PART 2 – Connection Coach Guidelines
(Adapted from Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Springfield, MO)

Purpose:  To introduce and connect new members to:

    • Ministries of the church
    • Membership expectations
    • Meaning of Christian living

General qualifications for a connection coach:

    • Lifestyle of faith in Christ and compassion for people
    • Commitment to equipping event and fulfilling one year in role
    • Skill in engaging people in spiritual/evangelistic conversations
    • Calling to serve in such a capacity
    • Member faithful in worship and regular leadership events

Expectations of a connection coach:

    • Pray about involvement on the CONNECTION TEAM
    • Commit to following through with the connection process outlined here, with every assigned contact.
    • Determine to know assigned contact(s) by name and face.
    • Know basic Biblical concepts as learned in equipping events.
    • COMMUNICATE WITH PASTORAL STAFF throughout the process and especially when the process has been completed.

Assimilation process/contacts and script tips for a connection coach:

  1. ◊ First Contact – no more than 7 days after someone has joined. This contact should be personal, by phone, or face-to-face.
    • Hello, this is ___________ with our Connection Team here at Kearney First Baptist Church.
    • I will be your connection coach over the next few months to help you connect into your church. What questions can I answer for you right now?
    • Have you been able to be a part of a Sunday School class or other Bible study group?
      • If yes – Which one?
      • If no – Personally invite them to try one this Sunday, using the provided Sunday School class list (or invite them to another appropriate group). Plan to have a Sunday School teacher or Bible study leader make contact with them.  Consider asking them to go with you to a class or group.
    • Remind them to take the next Basic Training Class. Report to the church office that this person will or wants to attend.
    • If person is awaiting baptism, then ask if they have scheduled it yet. Be ready to answer questions about baptism.
    • How can I pray for you this week? A brief, cordial prayer should be made (either on the phone or face-to-face).
  1. ◊ Second Contact – 2 weeks. This contact should be made by phone, email, or appropriate social media.
    • Have you received information about the next Basic Training Class?
    • Have you received a contact from a Sunday School teacher or Bible study leader?
    • Have you found a Sunday School class or Bible study group yet? Encourage them to attend a Sunday School class or Bible study group.
    • What questions can I answer for you?
    • How can I pray for you this week?
  1. ◊ Third Contact – 4 weeks. This contact can be more informal through email, phone, or appropriate social media.
    • Have you been able to meet some new people so far?
    • Have you joined a Sunday School class or Bible study group?
    • Encourage them to attend a Sunday School class or Bible study group. Be aware of other opportunities to share.
    • Where are you interested in serving in ministry?
    • Any questions I can answer for you?
    • How can I pray for you this week?
  1. ◊ Fourth Contact – 8 weeks. This contact should preferably be in person.  A face-to-face meeting over breakfast, dinner, coffee, or other outing should be planned appropriately (contact church office for financial assistance if needed).  Continue other contact venues.
    • Have you joined a Sunday School class or Bible study group?
    • If applicable: Have you completed Basic Training Class?
    • Have you identified a place of service in the church?
    • Any questions I can answer for you?
    • How can I pray for you this week?
  1. ◊ Final Contact – 12 weeks.
    • Have you had the opportunity to join in with a Sunday School class or Bible study group?
    • Seek to discover if the person has developed any relationships.
    • Seek to discover if the person has been contacted about a place to serve in the church.
    • Any questions I can answer for you?
    • How can I pray for you this week?

Main points

  • Connect with new member with the purpose of discipling, mentoring, coaching, and/or encouraging.
  • Basic Training Class is led by our pastoral staff. It is held periodically throughout the year.  Although not required for membership, it is strongly recommended.
  • Connecting to a Sunday School class or other Bible study group should include cooperation with the class/group’s leader.
  • Serving is arranged through the staff, nominating committee, and/or church office. Refer people to those offices for their follow-up.
  • A coach’s task is to be informative, making sure that a connection is not lost or ignored. SERVING IS THE GOAL OF A CONNECTION COACH’S WORK.
  • COMMUNICATE WITH PASTORAL STAFF throughout the process and especially when the process has been completed.◊

 



How to Become a Member

KFBC receives new members in the following ways:

  • If you are a new believer in Christ, you will want to experience believer’s baptism, by immersion, in obedience to the teaching of Jesus. This is an outward symbol of the inward change you have experienced.
  • As a believer in Christ, if you have already experienced believer’s baptism (by immersion), we invite you to become a member by transfer of membership from your previous church.
  • As a believer in Christ, if your previous membership records are unavailable, you may become a member by providing a statement that you are a believer and have been Scripturally baptized (by immersion in water).

If you would like to join the First Baptist Church family, you’re invited to let us know of your desire during our Song of Commitment at the close of the worship service (simply come forward and inform the pastor).  You are also welcome to discuss your decision at any time with one of FBC’s pastors.

Is church membership important?

Yes.  Membership helps the church identify believers in Christ who can be counted on to lead and care for the ministries and mission of the church.  Membership also demonstrates a commitment to supporting all the ministries of the church with time, talents, treasure, and prayer.

CONNECTION COACHES:  Assisting with response time in worship

WHEN THE PASTOR IS TALKING with an inquirer during response time, a ministry staff member should stand to receive others, then be available to assist the pastor and handle the inquiry.  Ministry interns, deacons, and CONNECTION COACHES, should also be available to assist.  (Spouses may also help as needed.)  If you have moved to the front and are not needed, simply step to the side to allow the pastor to resume inviting.  Sometimes, just prayer with the pastor is all that’s wanted.

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP AND DECISION RECORD forms are used by the pastor, associate, or intern to publicly introduce an inquirer’s desire for membership either by statement, moving of membership, or baptism.  Other decisions are normally not announced.  The form should be in the hand of the announcer before the service concludes.  Names and decisions are all that’s needed at that time.  If more time is needed to complete the form, do so after service then make sure it is delivered to the office.

Example of a scripted announcement by pastor or staff:

“I’m pleased to announce that ___________ wishes to join the fellowship of believers here at Kearney First Baptist.  So as the Bible says, let’s ‘welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.’”  (Romans 15:7ESV)

ANNOUNCING MEMBERS WHO HAVE MADE previous arrangements for membership:  A DECISION RECORD form should be filled out, preferably when making the arrangement (office visit, home visit, etc.).  Announce membership during a worship service when the prospective member(s) will plan to be present.  Know where they are seated so you can look their way.

PROTOCOL

Before service, the deacon for the week usually checks that the THREE gray clipboards are ready with:

  • membership cards
  • pens or pencils
  • location: at the end of each front pew (not on the floor)

During the pastor’s prayer, staff, deacon for the week, and CONNECTION COACHES may move to a front pew to be visible to the pastor. Your spouse may join you.

When receiving an inquirer, introduce yourself/spouse then say something like:

  • For salvation: “Confessing faith in Christ is the most important decision you’ll ever make.  Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and was buried?  Do you believe that God raised Him from the dead?  Do you confess that Jesus is Lord?”  Do not rush.  Sharing the Gospel can continue after the service.
  • For most decisions: “I’m so glad you’re making this decision.  Let’s get your correct information.”  Use the DECISION RECORD form in the gray clipboard.
  • If unsure what to do: “Let’s talk after the service.  I want to hear more about your decision (or:  I want to introduce you to ___________).  Let me get your correct information.”  Fill out the DECISION RECORD form.

After the closing prayer, visit with inquirers to help them feel at ease, to finish completing the form, and/or to introduce them to a specific person/pastor for follow-up.

The pastor may announce that a ministry staff member and/or deacon will be available at the front after the benediction should anyone want to discuss a question or decision. Be alert to any needs you, a CONNECTION COACH, can provide.


 

The Baptist Faith & Message:  VI.  The Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.