Large churches can be the most challenging places for people to connect with others. That seems ironic, since there are so many people with whom to connect each week. The truth is, however, large crowds can be very intimidating when you don’t know anyone in the room. This is one of the primary reasons we established Section Community at New Life Church.
The purpose of Sections is to facilitate the connecting of people in biblical community. That begins when people experience a warm and welcoming environment in the section where they sit. Every Section has at least one leader and a team of hosts and it is important that they are pastoral. They do that by connecting, caring, and inviting every time we gather to worship and study the scriptures together.
Connect – Make eye contact; acknowledge people exist. This is a very simple effort that is often neglected. The devil wants people to feel alone and isolated. That feeling can be exaggerated when people are in a crowd and no one seems to care enough to even acknowledge their presence. Psalm 68:6 says “God sets the lonely in families.” Therefore, we need to be a family that is anticipating people’s arrival and ready to convince them that they belong.
Care – Introduce yourself, then ask people their name and other questions that communicate you want to get to know them. Sincerely listen to their story and offer to pray for them as the Holy Spirit leads. Expect the Lord to use you to strengthen, encourage and comfort others. Purpose to remember people’s name so you can extend a more personal greeting next time you see them.
Invite – Invite people to participate in anything that will help them mature as a Christ follower. Invite them to your Section’s next monthly potluck so they can connect with others in a friendly and unhurried environment. Invite them to upcoming special events at the church that are applicable to their needs (Men’s or Women’s ministry gatherings, marriage retreats, leadership conferences, etc.) Ultimately invite them to join a small Group for the purpose of discipleship. Jesus mandated that we make disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, therefore, we must do all we can to help people go deeper and grow stronger.