What to do when you want to see different results (2 of 3)

If the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over again but expect different results, then it follows that sanity would be to start doing more of the things that give us the results we want. 

As a writer, I have found that on days that I get up before the sun rises, I get a lot more written and my day tend to be more productive. I don't have that sense that I need to catch up. I feel I have somehow gotten ahead of the game and the momentum carries throughout my day. I hear runners feel this way.

I wouldn't know. I do know that when I realized that starting my day earlier with no distraction made me more productive, I attempted it more often. Guess what? I got more written and more done. I saw different results by just taking what was working for me and doing it more often.

If the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over again but expect different results, then it follows that sanity would be to start doing more of the things that give us the results we want. 

That's what we started doing last year in our assimilation ministry at Eastside. It was a bold move.

Beginning in June 2016, we redesigned our 7-week First Step Experience (FSX) which was offered to guests quarterly and turned it into a 4-week Next Step Experience offered every week. This was bold because we were at the top of our game with FSX but were attracting more guests than we could assimilate at that frequency. 

So like a writer getting up early more often, or a runner training more often, we took what was going well for us and did it more often.

2 things happened that have amazed me:

  1. We went from seeing 1 out of 6 guests become volunteers to 1 out of 5. 
  2. We went from seeing 1 out of 32 newly baptized people at FSX to 1 out of 5.5 of our newly baptized people attending Next Steps. This was a massive positive change simply brought about by offering something a person just baptized could do next week, rather than wait a few weeks or a couple months to begin. 

You have to pick your poison though.

There were at least 4 prices we had to pay for these new results:

  1. We had to cut important content out of our assimilation environment to see something more important happen in number of guests connecting. We cut out 25% of our material, and put another 25% of it in the form of "Going Deeper" video assignments that they could watch at home, fill in the blanks, and get some cool prizes at their tables for filling in the blanks.
  2. We had to see the numbers go down at each gathering to see more people assimilated annually. Our quarterly FSX saw as many as 14 tables per session on Sundays and 7 to 8 tables on Saturdays during Fall and Winter sessions. This quarter we are now averaging 3 tables full on Saturday sessions, and 6 to 7 on Sundays. But because it happens monthly, well ....you do the math.
  3. We had to spend more money to provide the materials and freebies we like to give guests more often. So worth it.
  4. We had to invest more time onboarding volunteers to staff Next Steps on an every other month basis to see this happen every weekend. The good news: they come from the Next Steppers themselves, every month!

In an effort to see even more results, are actually doing a trial run this month of a noon Next Steps Experience, offering it during three of our our four weekend services. Will keep you posted on that one.

Now I know what some of you are thinking: "That's great when you are a large church with the volume to repeat things more often. A smaller congregation wouldn't have critical mass to pull off what you are recommending".

Good thinking. But you would be wrong!

Two of our campuses run between 200 and 450 in attendance. They joined us in offering our 4 week Next Steps Experience every weekend. They offer it just once per weekend, during the last service each Sunday. They see 5 to 12 guests attend each weekend. Doesn't sound like a lot of people until you begin to think of how a church this size could be strengthened with 60 to 144 new volunteers added every year!

It's not easy, but it is astoundingly simple. Like a runner or a writer, if you want to see different results, look at what you do that produces those results and do it more often.

In my next post, I will share the third thing to do when you want see different results in connecting guests at your church. It is something I have never thought of before, but it is informing my decision making often these days and helping me make quicker and more guilt-free decisions about our ministry. It has been making a difference in the number of lives transformed. I can't wait to share it with you.

Don't forget to check out my new Base Camp in May. Would love to have you a part of these real, enjoyable and higher-impact conversations on this topic. Click here to find out about it. 

  • What is your most effective tool, program or environment for connecting guests at your church? How often is it available?
  • What do you think would happen if you simply offered it more frequently? (Keep from saying "yeah but..." until the end of the conversation for best results)
  • Which of the 4 prices listed above are you most willing to pay? Least willing to pay? Why?
Greg CurtisComment