One of the most important elements of Church Steps is gathering and organizing information. First, you have to understand the structure to our organization. Some time back a few of us got together to talk about how this was going to work. We had just read Andy Stanley’s book Seven Practices of Effective ministry and were well aware of Andy’s practice of thinking in steps, not in programs. So we talked about what steps people typically take before becoming a full fledged disciple of Jesus Christ. The idea is, we are trying to take lost people somewhere and we have to identify what the next steps are toward the goal. We identified five possible steps from not knowing anything to following Christ with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. It is through these five steps that we organize those we are reaching out to so that we can see where they are and what they need to get to the next step. Here are the five steps, what the step means and what it takes to get to the next step:
Step 1 – Attract
- This is the group that has yet to attend anything. Someone has mentioned that they want to reach out to this person but they haven’t yet been invited or haven’t yet accepted the invitation.
- In order to get to the next step, they have to decide to come to something (worship, class, LIFE Group, service project, etc)
Step 2 – Welcome
- This group has come to something. They have walked through the door. They met us, we met them…they have been welcomed. Our goal is for them to feel loved and cared for and to see what we, as a congregation, are doing to advance God’s kingdom. No commitment here…they just showed up.
- In order to get to the next step they need to be getting to know people.
Step 3 – Relationships
- As we reflect on our own faith stories and the stories of others we realized that relationships often (and should) precede a biblical presentation of the Gospel. If they are in step 3 they have gotten to know some people (could be through contact in our Church Steps Class, LIFE Group, Bible class, etc)
- In order to get to the next step they have to start an evangelistic study
Step 4 – Transformation
- This is the group we are studying with (usually 1 on 1) usually using the Jesus 101 study of Mark.
- To get to the next step they have to be baptized.
Step 5 – Integration
- Once someone is baptized we want to get them involved in some sort of ministry.
- Our belief is that if they are going to grow in their faith they are going to need to do more than just sit in a pew.
In two follow up posts I will discuss how we manage who is in which step, moving people from step to step
and how all this flows out of the Wednesday night Church Steps outreach class.