Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Reaching the Spiritually Receptive

Pastor Rick Warren gives (here) two categories of people who are spiritually receptive: "people in transition" and "people under tension."

Here is his list of the "10 most receptive groups of people" he's found over his years of ministry ... with my questions and ideas on effectively positioning your church to reach them:

  • Second-time church visitors -- How many repeat guests do you have who aren't connected? What do they need to get connected? Information, friendship, personal visit?
  • Close friends and relatives of new converts -- What resources are you giving new converts for them to tell their friends? For example, videotapes of their baptisms, testimonies.
  • People going through a divorce -- See Warren's "DivorceCare"
  • Those who feel their need for a recovery program (any type: alcohol, drugs, sexual, etc.) -- See "Celebrate Recovery"
  • First-time parents -- Do you have a safe and clean environment for their precious babies? How about background checks for workers? Is this information in all your promotional materials?
  • Terminal illness of self or family member -- Do you have support groups on grief or for other hurting people, like Lupus sufferers? There is bound to be people in your church who have gone through similar situations and are perfect to minister to them.
  • Couples with major marriage problems -- How about marriage seminars on Saturdays, or prominently advertising your counseling ministry? Do they view your church as a resource for salvaging their marriage?
  • Parents with problem children -- What service can your family and youth ministries provide here?
  • Recently unemployed/major financial problem -- Do you have a "care line" for this? A ministry budget for caring for these people by temporarily providing food, or job listings?
  • New residents in the community -- Are you sending new homeowners/residents a welcome letter? And are you giving your people a "welcome basket" from your church to give their new neighbors?

    What do you think? Ideas?
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