Leadership in Context Episode 4 Show Notes
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Immediate and Specific Follow-up Plan
A high percentage of pastors that attended NRP’s recent Church Growth Intensive shared that they have a weak or non-existent plan for new convert follow-up.
Having an immediate and specific follow-up plan for new converts is critical to the growth of your church.
If this area is not working, it is a fundamental flaw in the DNA and culture of your church. It has the potential to effect everything else you are trying to do. BUT, the good news is that this is an area that is fairly easy to correct with focus, training, and vision sowing. It has a manageable solution.
As a smaller church, by the nature of the numbers, you will have fewer opportunities. It is even more critical that you capitalize on every opportunity. If you are in a non-growing church, it’s hard to get enthusiasm. The good news is that if you are in a smaller, non-growing church, it takes just a couple of converts to really change the dynamics and have exponential impact on everything you are doing in a local church setting.
I’m not recommending a specific system. What I am recommending is that you have a fool-proof way to follow up with new converts so that people do not fall through the cracks. It’s not just about having a plan; it’s also about having a culture—a culture where people are viewed as critical and important. A culture that models that your church can be trusted with vulnerable people. (Everyone is vulnerable at that point of conversion.) We need to understand what has been entrusted to us. If all we are doing is a pat on the back, a congratulations, and then we send them on their way, hoping they will come back, then we are making a huge mistake.
Having a specific and immediate plan for when people get saved communicates to your church, no matter the size, that you intend to grow. You are communicating that you are expecting people to come into the church and get saved. You are communicating to them, “Hey, go out and bring your un-churched friends here to hear the Gospel.”
You must build a team for this follow-up. The people on the team don’t need seminary degrees to be part of this ministry. The average, solid, Christian in the church, who may not feel like they can get up in front of people or lead a mission trip—those people would be great on this team. All they need is an ability to connect with people.
A Fast Ball
A follow-up plan doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Just throw a fast ball down the middle. The fast ball looks like an immediate and specific follow-up plan for new converts. There was once a relief pitcher for the Pittsburg Pirates, Elroy Face. He has the highest winning percentage in a single season of any pitcher, starter or reliever in the history of baseball. In 1859, he had 18 wins and 1 loss. He recorded 96 wins as a relief pitcher (a record that will probably not ever be broken). Elroy Face threw a fork ball. Good news: you don’t have to throw a fork ball. You don’t have to come up with a knuckle ball. All you have to do is throw the fast ball down the middle, let them know it’s coming, and educate your church as to what immediately and specifically happens. Have a plan for not IF, but WHEN a person gets saved so that you know exactly what you are doing.
New Convert Ingredients
Assurance of forgiveness
Acceptance: We as a church community love and accept you. We are going to walk this thing out with you.
Hope: If you put your heart into serving Jesus and honor the forgiveness He has granted you, you will have a hope for your future.
New Convert Plan
Have people trained to be altar workers. What is the DNA? What do you want them to do? How do you want prayer to happen?
Tangible instructions on how to lead someone in the prayer of repentance and faith. Everyone should be leading them in the same way.
Personal contact and follow-up. Collect the person’s name, phone, and address. Introduce and connect them to 2-3 other people in the church. That way they automatically make friends.
A clear next step: “I’m going to call you tonight and talk about what your next step is.” (Follow-up must be within 24 hours of that conversion.) During that conversation, you can tell them about the new discipleship class or small groups you have going on during the week.
You can do this in a class setting once a month or on a more one-on-one basis especially if you are a smaller church. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a grand plan. It just needs to be immediate and specific. Have people who are trained that are demographically relative to who the new converts are. Most people feel comfortable in a peer group. (Men with men. Women with women. Within 5 years of their age.)
What do we want to teach people the moment they get saved?
Prayer: Teach it and model it.
The Bible: Start small. Ask them to read something, and then follow up with them.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit: Teach them about the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
Small Group: Get them connected. There is life in small groups.
Many people believe and would agree with the ingredients, the plan, and the next steps. Where they fail is not having and implementing an immediate and specific plan. If all of these things are important, how critical is it to have a plan and have a handful of trained people to lead the charge? I would recommend that you have a follow-up coordinator to help track how successful you are being and the fruit being born.
Let’s believe that if we prepare the soil, God will give us the seed. Let’s believe for some new converts in our ministry. It will change the life of your church.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!