TRUTH: Sometimes it’s hard to feel connected to the people at church, especially if you haven’t been there very long. Or when your congregation is growing so fast you can’t keep up with everybody!
If you could use some creative ways to connect with your church family, I’m going to share three things that have helped us engage with our new flock. If you want to build deeper connections within your ministry, keep reading! Maybe these ideas will help spark your imagination and help you click with your people. Whether it’s members of the choir your husband leads, or students in the youth group, or the entire church family. (My fourth suggestion will be explained later in a future Part 2 post, so be on the lookout!)
When Greg and I were called to our current church, we already had the camper loaded for a big road trip out west. As we traveled for a few months before starting the new job, we had lots of time to talk about…
- How to help them complete the healing process
- How to stir excitement about a new season, not lose momentum
- How to start building relationships while they waited for us to get back
So, we began brainstorming ways to stay connected with our new congregation and God gave us some cool ideas!
Idea #1: Travel Video Devotions
Since we were going to be traveling out west for several weeks, we decided to make devotional videos from the different places we visited. Some of our travelogue spots included Cadillac Ranch, Mount Rushmore, Zion National Park, the Grand Tetons, and Bryce Canyon. As we were inspired by the beauty around us, we would take turns filming and sharing spiritual concepts or Bible passages that related in some way to where we were. We uploaded the video files to our church dropbox account, and our media guy posted it on the church Facebook page every few days. These moments from our trip gave our new congregation a glimpse into who we were on a personal level and opened the door for future relationship with them. It also confirmed our commitment to them while they were waiting on us.
Maybe you could adapt this to work in your ministry. You don’t have to be on a trip to find inspiration for spiritual applications. You could make something similar driving around your own town or even walking around your church campus.
Idea #2: Music Playlists
Another topic of conversation during our adventure out west was about Greg’s first sermon series, which would focus on the goodness of God. Since I love Spotify and have made several playlists that we listened to while driving, I decided to make a playlist that would go along with that sermon series. We enjoyed hunting for songs that reminded us of God’s goodness and put together a list that included hymns, kids’ tunes, and Bible verse songs.
When we got to our new church home, we printed a link to the playlist in the bulletin. Our first Sunday, Greg called me up on stage with him to introduce the playlist and explain how we would use it. For weeks after, people thanked me for putting that music together for them. They were really touched by the unexpected gift I shared with them and appreciated my efforts to literally make something just for them. Also, knowing that lots of our people were listening to music that reinforced what we were learning from the Sunday messages was a cool bonding experience for our church family.
Idea #3: Online Bible Studies
This third idea was really an accident. After we’d been at the church for a few months, Greg and I started a young married Sunday school class. I wanted to offer some sort of Bible study for our ladies, but most of them work and have small kiddos. Plus, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself when I was still getting used to being a pastor’s wife again by committing to teach a study.
As I considered different options, I remembered the Bible study I had attended in our previous city. Every spring and fall, a church in town (that we were not members of) offered an 8-week lecture study by an amazing teacher. Plus—there was no homework! Each week my friend Julie and I would drive across town for the lecture, then we’d go to lunch and discuss what we’d learned from the lesson. And, because of Covid, this church also released the lectures each week on YouTube!
So, I told the ladies in our new Sunday School class about this study and shared the link in case any of them were interested. I was surprised by how many of our ladies participated and really grew to love this teacher like I did. About halfway through the session, they all came over to my house and we talked about what we were learning. The online format freed them from the burden of homework and allowed them to listen to the messages on their own schedule. Going through the study together gave our new group something meaningful to talk about as we were getting to know each other. And, best of all, it was free!
I’ve since discovered other studies that work in a similar manner, with free teaching videos or email lessons, and students can buy workbooks off Amazon. If you’re interested in some of these types of studies, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to share the info with you.
Did you notice all these involved technology? I didn’t put that in the title because I didn’t want to scare any of you away! But what a wonderful age we live in, with so many tech-y tools and media platforms that churches can use to spread the Gospel and to disciple our people. And most of it is free and easy to learn. Our church has a large population of senior saints, and many of them just joined right along and enjoyed learning how to use these new apps and modern ways to communicate.
You may be wondering: Was it worth the trouble?
Honestly, these ideas were very simple to implement and felt more fun than forced. These projects required a small amount of my time up front, but the connections to our people has lasted. Watching our travel videos, the church family felt like they knew us when we finally arrived. Having the entire church saturating their minds with the same music during that first sermon series helped connect us to each other and to the truth about God’s goodness. And providing an alternative way for busy moms to take part in a Bible study group was a huge hit. From a relationship efficiency standpoint, these platforms provided a win-win for all of us.
So, do you have ideas blooming in your mind? Are you dreaming up creative ways you can connect with people in your ministry? I hope you’ll try one of these things I’ve shared. And leave a comment on socials or the blog and tell us how it goes!
If you’re thinking, no, I can’t get comfortable trying any of this—that’s ok! We all have different strengths and resources and environments God has placed us in, and there’s certainly no set way to reach people.
Let me leave you with this verse—Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Friend, my prayer for you today is that you understand the Creator God of the Universe planned you and made you specifically as a unique creation, with a destiny of good works He wants You to do, in the place of ministry where He has put you. Let me encourage you to walk in those good plans God has prepared for you. Don’t you just love the personal-ness of God’s Word? I sure do!
Thanks for hanging out with me today, friend! I hope I’ve stirred your creative juices! Be watching for Part 2 soon, and in the meantime keep loving Jesus, loving your husband, and loving your people!
P.S.–Did you know…
about Treasures from the Word on the Love Worth Finding app? Each day Pastor Adrian Rogers shares 90 seconds of profound truth from God’s Word to think about throughout your day. Here’s how you can check it out! Click HERE to download the Love Worth Finding App, then click on“Listen”and scroll down toTreasures from the Word: 90 Seconds of Profound Truth.