“Jesus, the apostles, the Bible — all indicate by word or deed that our focus is to be on people, through meaningful relationships.” George Barna
In How to Build Relationships, Part 1 we touched on three practical relationship-building tips. In addition to these three tips, here are some additional tips on building relationships in the life of the church:
- Lay a “relational foundation.”
- Turn on the juice.
- Play “zone” coverage.
- Bite a burger. This can be a bit tricky because you don’t want to push too far and make the guest(s) feel uncomfortable. But, if you sense that it is appropriate to do so, invite the guest(s) for a burger after the service. You might say something like, “My family’s heading across the street for a burger after the service. I know it’s late notice, but we would love for you to join us if you have time to do so.” Be sure you’re offering to eat somewhere affordable and conveniently located near the church. Remember, many are “starving” for relationships.
- Go for a walk. Invite the guest(s) to join you next week in Sunday School. Offer to meet them at the casual gathering area the following week before class. If your class is an appropriate class for them, walk to class with them and introduce them to others in the class. If your class is not appropriate for them, tell them about classes that might fit them and walk them to class. Introduce them to the teacher and others in the class that you personally know. Darryl Wilson provides several great Sunday School relationship tips in his post Growing Next-Level Sunday School Relationships.
- Handoff the ball. You cannot be best friends with everyone in the church. Intentionally introduce the guest(s) to others in the church like them. Sometimes, the most effective strategy is to “hand off” guests to others who are close to their age with similar interests. Handing them off, frees you to find another person or family with whom you can build a relationship.