Increasing First-Time Guests
How Connexus Church Created a Culture for Inviting New Guests
I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with Jeff Brodie. You may not know Jeff, but you may know the founding and teaching pastor at Jeff’s church—it’s Carey Nieuwhof.
Jeff and I were catching up recently because four or five years ago, I flew to Canada to facilitate a strategic planning retreat with Carey, Jeff and the team at Connexus Church.
During that time together, we discovered that what they at the time thought was a “back door” challenge at the church was actually more of a front door problem.
It was a big moment in the conversation and in the life of this church. Connexus is an outwardly-focused church. They’d been designing weekend services for people to meet Jesus. They talked about inviting all the time. And people were inviting—but not the way they hoped they would.
I was so encouraged in the conversation with Jeff a few weeks ago because the way they responded to that challenge and the results they’ve seen are incredible.
I’ll give you a preview: It all started with a heart change. The whole culture of the church has become focused on tangibly, practically loving people outside the walls. And through that heart change, they’ve seen the fastest growth to-date in their church.
In this episode, Jeff and I discussed:
- Why Jeff believes jumping straight to strategies for creating more invite opportunities would’ve short-circuited what God wanted to do in the life of the church
- The flaw in how many of our churches teach the language of “invest and invite”
- Why invite culture starts with staff culture, and what Connexus considers indicators that the staff is leading the right way
- The significant change that challenges the assumption guests want to be “anonymous”
- How streaming services and online engagement factor into physical attendance