Lots of different strategies have been used to keep people connected such as Sunday school classes, home groups, men's ministry, women's ministry, activities, church fellowships (with food involved of course) and more.
These are good strategies, but after years of trying many of them, I have discovered what I believe is the SUPER GLUE that keeps people connected to a church.
Here it is...VOLUNTEERING.
I believe volunteering will keep people connected to your church more than anything else. Here's why...
Volunteering connects people to a FAR GREATER CAUSE than themselves. People long to be part of something bigger than themselves. Something that will enable them to make an impact and leave a legacy. When you have a clear, God-sized vision, people will connect to it and be a part of it long-term.
Volunteering helps people continue growing in their FAITH. Serving is a catalyst for spiritual growth. The reason many people grow discontent and leave a church is because their faith has grown stagnate. And usually a stagnate faith is a result of someone only being a hearer of the Word and not a doer of the Word. Take a look at the people in your church who have an active, growing faith. They are the ones serving.
Volunteering connects people to FRIENDSHIPS. People stay connected to a church because of relationships. One of the best avenues to build relationships is through serving. People become friends with the people they serve with and I believe a serving group is one of the best models of a small group. They pray together, encourage one another, bear each others burdens and do life together.
Volunteering connects people to FELLOWSHIP. People want to spend time with other believers. If you are intentional as a leader, you can provide opportunities for volunteers to fellowship outside of serving. It might be lunch after church, meeting at someone's house on a Friday night for a cook-out or doing an activity together. Get them started and soon it begins to happen organically. When people are in fellowship, it keeps them connected.
Volunteering helps people bear FRUIT. When people see they are bearing fruit, they will stay connected. You can help them see their fruit by sharing the stories of lives that have been changed and people who have been impacted. Fruit-bearers stay long term.
How do I know volunteering keeps people connected to a church? I see it work each week in the lives of the friends I serve with. Here are a few of them.