3 Strategies for Staying Connected With Your Flock
One of the challenges for a Christian minister today is connecting with people. If you are serving a small congregation, administrative tasks can get in the way of personal contacts. If you are in a large congregation, it is easy for people to get lost in the shuffle. Making personal contact with the members of your flock requires deliberate choices on your part.
Be Where They Are
Part of connecting with your members is recognizing how and where they communicate. Social media is a helpful way to connect with many of your young families. However, if you only reach out through digital platforms, some older members may be left out of the loop. Find several ways to communicate that include social media and texts but also group gatherings and phone calls.
Walk Among Them
The practice of a leader taking time to regularly spend time with those they are responsible for is called a Gemba walk in Japan. The original Gemba walk involved a manager walking through an assembly line process looking for places to be more efficient or fixing minor problems. For the church, a Gemba walk can be a way to help see how your administrative structure works. It can also be a way to walk through the communication process, seeing who gets left out of normal contacts. By walking with your flock, you can get a better understanding of what is going on in their lives.
Notice Who Is Missing
It is easy to connect with people who want to be reached. In fact, they may contact you before you have a chance to get in touch with them. As a minister, you also need to be aware of the people who are missing. Take note of changes in behavior. Too many churches are just letting people walk away without even reaching out once. It may be that a family is going on a vacation, but absence may also be a sign that a family is drifting away or experiencing a crisis. Keep a list of the people you do not see, and make a point of intentionally contacting them. A simple email or text may be all it takes to let them know that you are paying attention. The good shepherd leaves the 99 to find the lost sheep.
A calling as a minister can be a challenge. There are many responsibilities that pull you in different directions. Yet God has called you to serve among these people. By staying in contact, you are helping guide them deeper in faith.
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