Not all campaigns are directed towards the outside world. Sometimes our priority is communicating effectively with our own members. Very often we have need to inform them and sometimes even reform them.
In 2014, Hope Lutheran in West Palm Beach, Florida, had been blessed with a rapidly expanding member roll. One side effect of all this growth was an increase in “back-door losses.” With more souls comes more responsibility, and it was apparent that a new approach was required to serve everyone effectively.
An organizational change was called for to provide more services. It’s also been demonstrated that churches which quickly integrate new members into service roles have much higher rates of retention.
We shifted Hope from a top-down approach to bottom-up. Instead of church council chairman-led groups, Hope organized the work of the church into Ministry Service Teams. From Sunday morning snacks to property care to shut-in visits, each ministry needed a leader and a team. This new approach was going to require an incredibly high number of volunteers, and we needed a vehicle for recruiting large numbers in a short period of time.
We introduced a concept called the “Spiritual Gifts Fair.” The fair works by creating a fun way to help individuals discover their spiritual gifts and then introduces them to the ministries where their gifts will likely make the greatest impact. Participants get rewards for taking a spiritual gifts inventory, getting recommendations for ministries, learning more about those ministries, introducing themselves to the leaders of those ministries, or even volunteering for leadership positions themselves.
Everyone who participates really enjoys the fair atmosphere, but they also get exposure to a veritable smorgasbord of service opportunities. At the very least, the members’ eyes are opened to the scope of all the ministry being accomplished by God through their congregation and most come away more appreciative and more connected.
The Gifts Fair is a powerful tool that can even be implemented annually as a vehicle for promoting new ministries and for getting new members involved.