We all want to grow the Kingdom, and that begins with growing the Church. As a church leader, you work tirelessly with your staff and other leaders to plan events and promote your worship services to bring more people into your church doors. But what happens once they walk through those doors? We can help make disciples with a proven assimilation plan using Realm
In the blog, Unlock a Clear Path to Being a Stronger Church, the 3 steps listed should be your guide when thinking about new visitors:
- Set Expectations
- Connect Quickly
- Move Forward
While those seem simple enough, managing the small details of how each step is implemented without anyone falling through the cracks can be tedious. However, with RealmⓇ as your church management solution, you can utilize Pathways to guide new visitors as they become disciples within your ministry.
Realm Pathways is a tool to track and document discipleship journeys based on your church’s needs. Think of it as a detailed checklist in which you can assign each item to a different person who will receive automated notifications to ensure tasks are completed on time.
In this case, you have new visitors coming through your doors. You more than likely already have certain steps in place that your staff or volunteers carry out following an individual’s first visit, such as sending them an email or giving them a call, delivering bread or a small gift to their home, or mailing them more information about your ministries. Pathways serve as the digital form of that process and as a reminder to connect quickly with your new visitors.
Create a Pathway, such as New Visitor Follow-Up. Be sure to assign a leader to the pathway; a leader isn’t necessary but provides accountability along the way. Next, assign steps to the pathway. Steps are the tasks that need to be accomplished for a participant to complete a pathway. In this case, the first step may be sending a welcome letter or email, followed by assigning a deacon to their Realm profile, and then that Deacon following up with a phone call.
Whatever that process looks like for your church, break it down into steps and build it in Realm Pathways. Assign a step leader to each step and a duration to be sure things continue to move forward. If a participant stops making progress through the pathway, Realm automatically notifies the pathway leader once the duration has been reached so they can reach out to the step leader and encourage them to complete the needed step.
Steps in a pathway may be “ordered” or “unordered”. Ordered steps must be completed in proper sequence, where unordered steps can be completed at any point on the pathway. Step leaders may also share important information with other step leaders by adding notes along an individual’s pathway. For instance, the individual mentioned how much he enjoys playing musical instruments as a hobby, you would note that so the next person to reach out to him may see and connect him with your worship team leader.
Leading someone to discipleship takes more than simply inviting them into your church. You want them to become involved disciples, finding their calling and serving within the church and community. Create multiple pathways as follow-up pathways to move new visitors into once they’ve completed the New Visitor Follow-Up pathway. These could include Path to Membership, Connect to a Group, and Volunteering.
Based on the conversations happening within their first New Visitor pathway, move them at any point along the way to the new pathway that best fits their next steps into discipleship to get them fully plugged in. You can also choose to add a Pathway as a “Completed Pathway Actions” to automatically have those who’ve completed a pathway move into another specific pathway to continue their journey.
If you’re still unsure of how Realm Pathways can help your ministry grow, create test pathways and add trusted staff members to them as step leaders and participants. Not only will this help you iron out your processes, but will allow you to become more comfortable with using Pathways before you implement them with your congregation.
Using Realm Pathways, you’ll ensure new people are welcomed into your ministry and guided as they use their time, talent, and treasure to become disciples for the Kingdom. For additional information on Pathways, see our Church Growth blogs.
Leigh Ann Shelley joined the ACST team in 2019 as a Product Marketing Manager, overseeing the launch and overall communication of key solutions to support the church’s needs. Prior to joining ACST, she spent several years in communications and graphic design roles, most notably as a Communications Director for a large church in Florence, SC, where she leveraged Realm to help solve key ministry challenges.