Author Archive for Mike Taylor

The Heart (How to Minister to A Guest)

We should always anticipate guests. This means we have a plan from the time a guest comes to our building until they are an intricate part of our group and church. Here are a few points that will help us better minister to our guests.

  • Have a meal with them. There is just something about food and relationship. Breaking bread together helps us become familiar with those who are new to us and helps us build those first relationships with others in our group.
  • Connect with social media and texting. Become friends on Facebook and other avenues of social media. We can learn more about them, and they can learn about us as well. Texting also is a form of conversation and is part of how many communicate. Let’s communicate.
  • Learn about their personal life. We need to be sincerely interested in the lives of our guests. Understanding who they are on this level allows for greater ministry opportunities.
  • Introduce them to others. Common interests bring people together. As we learn more about our guests, connect them with others in the group that have similar interests.
  • Follow-up with the ministry need. When ministry needs are discovered in someone’s life, rally the group to minister to that individual or family. This helps them to know that they are an important part of the group.
  • Invite them to the unofficial class social. Many groups have socials for everyone to attend. It is common to see a few people getting together on their own to eat out or do some other social activity. When the guest gets invited to these outings, they are now included in the group.

Everyone needs and deserves ministry. We need be intentional about our ministry to others, especially our guests.

Mike Taylor is a State Missionary for Adult Groups and Faith Development at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

Finish Well: What’s Next for A Guest

We assume that when a person visits our group and becomes a member, they are now a part of the group. It is true, they are on our ministry list but that does not make them a part of the group. Assimilation is essential. Becoming a part of a group does not end with enrollment. Here are few ideas to better assimilate members after enrollment.

Have parties: Class socials help new folks to connect. People get to know one another. They become friends when socials are a part of group-life.

Do missions together: Serving alongside others helps new folks feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

Rearrange the room: People tend to sit in the same place week after week. Rearranging the room forces people to sit with those they do not know as well.

Include guests in social media conversations: Much of our communication and conversations are done on social media or text. Include guests in those conversations.

Special occasions: Celebrate with a card to be a part of those special events in life.

Worship together: Sit with guests in worship.

Introductions are important: As a leader we need to make sure everyone knows everyone. For a couple of months after the person becomes a part of the group keep introducing them to others.

Name tags: Everyone should wear them. New people are learning names. Help them.

Mike Taylor is a State Missionary for Adult Groups and Faith Development at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

Using Social Media to Reach and Minister to People with your Group

socmedWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Many are familiar with the idea of making contacts through cards, letters, phone calls, and visits for their Sunday School or Small Group.  We understand the value of a personal touch with face-to-face conversation, but we must not neglect the social media world that exists as well.

Making contact or connecting with those we have on our list is essential. Ask questions. Communicate events and information. Enrich relationships. Despite the proliferation of social media, many groups are still not using these tools connect with those on their ministry list and to others as well.

WHAT DO I DO? Here are a few things to consider when using social media with a group.

  • Understand what types of social media are used by your group so you can be the most effective.
  • Communicate weekly with social media.
  • Use social media to continue the teaching of the previous group experience or to prepare for teaching for the upcoming meeting of your group. This helps with application.
  • Use social media to promote group socials and update prayer requests and ministry needs.
  • If using Facebook, create a group for your group. Here is a video on how this is done and how it can benefit your group for both ministry to the members and reaching new people as well. https://vimeo.com/133695454

Stay in touch with your group. Use social media to complement your personal touch contacts. Doing so will enrich your communication and your care.

Ministering to Prospects

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? When we think of reaching out to prospects for our groups, we might first consider inviting them to our group meeting.  We have been conditioned in many ways to value the number of prospects in attendance on a given day when our group meets.  This becomes our measure of success.  It is a worthy idea, but the way we approach success with prospects needs to be evaluated differently.conversation2

WHAT DO I DO? Here are some suggestions on how to best reach prospects through ministry.

•    Value the person over the group.  Our goal is reaching and discipling people.  When we do that well, our attendance will reflect that.  Our interest should be on the individual and their needs not the needs the group might have.
•    Discover the needs of prospects. These are discovered when people are engaged in meaningful conversations.  Create environments where these conversations take place.
•    Glean information from these conversations and put ministry into action to meet those needs.
•    Pray for the needs of those we are reaching.  Ask them how we can best pray for their needs.
•    Work together as a group to meet the needs of prospects.  Strategize on how this is best done by connecting with those who can best help with a certain need.

Keep Group Socials Focused on those who need Christ

peopletogetherToo many of our group socials are about us and what we want and not about them and what they need. There are those who we might know who need to know Jesus.  Every group social that we plan needs to keep the lost in mind.  Here are some simple steps that will aid in your planning to make your socials more open to those who need Christ.

  • Socials should be accessible. Think about the time, location and cost of an event that you are planning.  These can prohibit people from attending because of hardships placed on those we are seeking to reach.
  • Socials should be available. Understand that most classes will only have 40-60 percent of its members in attendance. To announce your socials to the most faithful will result in most faithful attending.  Promote well with announcements, email, social media and phone calls.  Everyone should be welcome regardless of their attendance when your group meets.
  • Encourage members to bring friends to your socials. Some will attend a social event that might not attend your regular group meeting. Have socials that will relate well to the age group and the things they enjoying doing together.
  • Plan socials that are a mission project or are connected to a mission project. It is about them and not us.  We should be reaching out to people who need Christ to attend our socials and our socials themselves should be reaching out to others.

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Mike Taylor is a Sunday School missionary with the Georgia Baptist Convention