by Peggy Hahn, LEAD Executive Director

This is a discipleship question.

Just had a visitor at church…what’s next?

How is our congregation making meaningful connections with our guests so they feel invited into partnership? What are the ways we can build relationships with people who are brave enough to show up, without ignoring them or bombarding them?

Just baptized an adult, baby or family…what’s next?

How is our congregation helping them deepen their faith life? What are the faith practices they might incorporate into their lives?

Just had First Communion, Confirmation, or some other milestone…what’s next?

How is our congregation paying attention to seasons of life in a way that grounds passages in faithful relationships with each other, but more importantly with God? What is our plan for the day, week, or month that follows?

Next steps are essential. Here’s why:

We will take them either way. We will keep on doing SOMETHING. The congregation will either shape culture, by offering ways to deepen an ever-growing relationship with God and each other, or not. If there is no clear, accessible, accompanied next step, people will keep on walking in their search for meaning, for God.

We can create micro-experiments. I think about this as living into the next step by trying something at the next opportunity. This is leadership – the courage to risk experiments, but they don’t have to be giant shifts. Next steps can even be half-steps. Keeping up the momentum is key.

We all need these next steps in our lives. If you are feeling stuck or stagnant, what is your next step? You don’t have to figure this out by yourself. People take advantage of spiritual guides, coaches*, family and friends to sort this out.

Just try something.

*Check out LEAD’s special on coaching.