Can you believe that Fall is upon us? Depending on what part of the country you live in – school has already started or it’s starting soon. Schedules are changing and new rhythms are forming. This is a reality of this season.
What are you doing at your church to help people take their NEXT STEPS in their spiritual journey this fall? This is the time to ASK for new commitments and to push/encourage people to START doing something new or start doing something AGAIN. Lots of people got out of the routine of regularly coming to church, serving, giving or leading during the summer months. Many people don’t automatically get back on track without some people encouraging them and holding them accountable.
School just started last week, so this past Sunday we did a big challenge – inviting people to make some new commitments this fall. We brainstormed in our staff meeting and went back and forth with what the ask would be. It was an INCREDIBLE response… here are 7 things we did…
1. WE TALKED ABOUT THE RESULTS
Everything costs something. Taking next steps will take time, energy and resources. Why should I take these next steps? I preached a message about “The Results” of when you are abiding in God’s presence and you are living it out. I shared the benefits and all the great things that happen when you are consistent and faithful. You can watch it at www.youtube.com/crossover813 (Hearing From God – Part 3 – The Results).
2. WE CELEBRATED THOSE THAT HAVE TAKEN SOME STEPS
I shared 4 stories of people’s lives that have been changed at our church. We had a picture up on the screen as I talked about where they came from and where they are today and people celebrated and clapped for each person.
3. WE PRAYED FOR THOSE THAT HAVE TAKEN SOME STEPS
We had everyone that has completed our 3D Growth Track (Our Membership Class) to stand up. We explained the benefits of the class and stressed that these people are the core of our church and we want to continue to grow the core of our church. We blessed them and celebrated them.
4. WE REALIZED THERE ARE DIFFERENT STEPS FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE
If you lead a diverse church and there are new people in the mix (I know that describes you if you are reading this)… then everyone’s next step is not the same.
5. WE CREATED A COMMITMENT CARD AS A CLEAR ACTION STEP
The top of the commitment card said: My next steps for “Spiritual Results” This Fall. The Personal Step was that they would commit to start spending a regular time with God daily (Praying and Reading the Bible). Then we had 2 options for their Step at Church – To attend our next 3D Growth Track classes that started in a few weeks, or if they weren’t ready to commit to the church yet… to at least commit to start attending Sunday services regularly every week and possibly even come on Wednesday Nights to our Growth Night Bible Study.
6. WE CREATED A MOMENT WITH A MEMORABLE TANGIBLE STEP
School just started in our city. Near the end of the message I talked about at the end of class and the beginning of class there is a BELL. I had two bells on my cafe table (podium) and I rang them several times. This represents a transition. I shared that we’re in a transitional season and transformation brings transition. When I told the stories about people’s lives who changed – I rang the bell and everyone clapped and celebrated. So… the action step AFTER they filled out their commitment cards was to bring it up front and lay it on the edge of the stage and RING THE BELL! Each time the bell rang – the crowd clapped and celebrated. We then prayed for them after the line of bell ringers was finished.
7. WE FOLLOWED UP AND HELPED THEM FOLLOW THROUGH
There were 110 people that RANG THE BELL yesterday at our services. We immediately imputed their information in our database system and within 24 hours they all received a text message congratulating them on ringing the bell and making a commitment. In the next two weeks we’ll continue to follow up with more text messages, email and even some phone calls to make sure they follow through with attending the class or regularly attending services. We’re excited about the Harvest that is at hand as the seasons are changing!
* If you’d like to learn more about systems, creativity and church growth – check out www.urband.org/coaching for the Masterclass on demand or the next Live Masterclass coming up!
This multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-class church has become a model. As they grew they relocated into a 43,000 square foot retail building that was a former Toys R’ Us in the heart of Tampa’s urban community.
Outreach Magazine recognized Crossover as one of America’s Most Innovative Churches. Crossover has also been featured in USA Today, Newsweek, CBS News, BET News, and several regional media outlets. Tommy has also been featured on TBN, 700 Club, CTN and JUCE TV Networks.
Urban D. is an internationally known hip-hop artist that has released nine full length albums and several remix projects.
He has performed and spoken at concerts and conferences across the U.S. as well as overseas in Japan, Australia, The UK, Germany, and Nigeria.
Tommy has authored four books; ‘Un.orthodox’ (Zondervan), ‘Next’, ‘ReBuild’ (interVarsity Press) and his latest book ‘Love Our City’. His latest project also has a leaders box kit that equips other churches to love their city and reach thousands of new people in their community.
He is also the publisher of ‘S.O.U.L MAG’ Magazine which has produced twenty eight issues. The magazine has become the voice of the Christian Hip-Hop Community with a readership in the tens of thousands. The magazine also has a TV Show ‘S.O.U.LMAG TV’ which Tommy hosts on JUCE TV Network.
Tommy is also the founder of the Flavor Fest Urban Leadership Conference which has trained close to 5,000 leaders at Crossover since it’s inception. He also has a passion to pour into pastors and church planters as he has coached over 100 pastors.
He lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife Lucy and his two daughters Deyana and Sophia