LIFE NOTES

Equipping and empowering adults to mature as disciple-makers of those they influence.

Making a Connection Call

By God’s grace, each week we have loads of guests attending our Worship Services and Life Group gatherings. We are convinced that our “way of life” impacts how we view and care for guests. The guest services process is an essential tool that helps provide people with a personal connection to the body of Christ.

As outlined in a preview post, one of the ways in which we help guests make a connection at Warren is through a personal telephone call. Each week Warren Staff Members and Life Group leaders make personal phone calls to those who complete our Communication Piece in the Sunday worship guides. History has shown us that a personal invitation given through a phone conversation has a significant impact on a guest’s decision to connect in with our church.

But making these initial phone calls doesn’t come easy for most of us (myself included). We’re not salespeople or telemarketers by trade; we’re engineers or doctors or educators or manufacturers. Take heart: guests share their contact information because they want to connect in! So we’re not making ‘cold calls’ we’re making ‘connection calls’—helping people connect in to a way of life centered on Jesus.

So how do you make a successful connection call?

Before Calling

  • Be intentional. Pray before making your call.
  • Be prepared; don’t wing it. If that means writing a script, write a script. If that means following an outline, follow an outline. Rehearse it. Do whatever is necessary for you to gain confidence and feel prepared.
  • Be inviting. Plan an appropriate function to invite your guest to. Your Life Group meeting? To join you at a worship service? Coffee? A playdate? Dinner with your family? Etc. Select the most appropriate option.

How to Make a Connection Call

  1. Find a relatively quiet place to make the call. We have found that evenings are often the best time to make connection calls. If you have a lengthy commute home from work, this can be a opportune time to make these calls.
  2. Tell the person who you are and who you are trying to reach. Ex. “Hi my name is ___. I’m a Life Group Leader at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA. I’m trying to reach ___. Is this he/she?”
  3. Tell the person the reason you’re calling. Ex. “I saw where you and your family recently visited us at Warren. I just wanted to call and say ‘thank you’ for visiting.”
  4. Ask if this is a good time for them to talk. Ex. “If I’ve caught you at a bad time, I can call you back. But if you’re available I’d love to speak with you for just a moment.”
    If not, find a time to call them back.
    If yes, thank them in advance for taking time to speak with you.
  5. Continue the conversation.
  6. Invite the person to be your guest. Give specific details. Ex. “I mentioned that I lead one of the Life Group communities at Warren, I would love for you to visit with us on (day of week). We meet at (time and location). If it would be easier for you, I’d be more than happy to meet you at ___ and we can go to our Life Group meeting together.”
    If they agree, then plan to meet up.
    If they say “no thanks”, use your discernment on what to do next. Be respectful; don’t be offended by a “no”. Maybe “no” means “let’s try another time”? Maybe “no” means, “now’s not a good season for me”? In the end, strive to be gracious.
  7. Thank them for their time.

What if I get a voicemail?

If you get a voicemail, that’s okay, because you’re prepared! Leave a voicemail that identifies who you are, your reason for calling. Tell them a specific time which you will try to reach them again. Ex. “Hi my name is ___. I’m a Life Group Leader at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA. I saw where you and your family recently visited us at Warren and I just wanted to call and say ‘thank you’ for visiting. I’d love to follow-up with you so I’ll try calling tomorrow at ___ AM/PM. If you get an opportunity before then and would be able to return my call, please call me at ###-###-####. Thank you!”

If after that second attempted call you still receive a voicemail, don’t lose heart. I often leave another message with different details. Ex. “Hi my name is ___. I’m a Life Group Leader at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA. I had left a voicemail yesterday and it looks like I’ve missed you today also. I wanted to invite you to connect with our Life Group at Warren. You provided the church with an (email or mailing) address so I’ll just send you a note there with more information about our Life Group and a personal invitation to join us when your schedule allows. I hope to connect with you at some point in the future!”

Remember

Every contact represents a real person. Over three-fourths of the people who choose to attend a particular church do so because of a personal connection with a friend or family member! Will you be willing to take that step and make a personal connection with a guest?

If connections is an area that you’d like to develop, please let us know. We’d love to come alongside you and help equip this area of your Life Group.

Thinking About Connections

Let’s talk about something we see a lot of, especially in December: guests.

By God’s grace, each and every Sunday we have loads of guests attending our Worship Services and Life Group gatherings. Because God is constantly drawing people to Himself, we want to take great care of those who visit Warren. Did you know that over three-fourths of the people who choose to attend a particular church do so because of a connection with a friend or family member! That speaks to the power of a personal connection and invitation.

Warren’s Initial Connections Process

If you’ve attended a worship service at Warren, you’ve no doubt heard someone say, “If you’re visiting with us today, we want to encourage you to complete the Communication Piece inside your worship guide…” The information we gather from that form is worth it’s weight in gold! Each completed form represents a real person with whom we have the opportunity to connect.

Every week, a Warren Minister makes a personal phone call to thank each guest for visiting. We answer questions, pray with them, counsel them, etc. Our Connections Team reinforces this message by sending out a personalized Guest Information Packet with a variety of information specific to the guest’s stage of life. Based on the knowledge gained from these initial connections, our team then attempts to match the guest with an appropriate Life Group.

The Connections Process In The Life Group

As soon as a guest is matched with an appropriate Life Group, we share that information with you, the Life Group Leader. As the Life Group Leader it is your responsibility to ensure these guests are invited to connect with your Life Group. Whether they accept the invitation is something altogether separate; we must be faithful to do our part.

Most Life Group Leaders prefer to make these personal invitations themselves. History tells us that the invitation given through a personal phone call has the strongest impact on a guest. Other Life Group Leaders have found it helpful to entrust this important task to a Connections Leader within the Life Group. The Connections Leader takes on the the role of promoting intentional relationships through the Life Group community. Regardless of who actually accomplishes the task, the Life Group Leader assures that the connections process is effectively taking place within the Life Group.

How Do You Connect?

So, who does guest connections within your Life Group? Is it you, the Life Group Leader? Or have you entrusted someone else with the responsibility of Connections Leader?

If connections is an area that you’d like to develop, please let us know. We’d love to come alongside you and help equip this area of your Life Group.

Next Week: Making That Initial Phone Call To A Guest.

On Mission During the Holidays

Without a doubt Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are the heart of the American holiday line-up. This exciting season provides great opportunities to visit family and friends, to relive longstanding traditions, and to participate in numerous events here, there, and everywhere. This is a wonderful time of the year!

In these busy days, please let me encourage you and those you lead: do not neglect the work of the Gospel. The Advent Season is the perfect time for you and your Life Group to be on mission for Christ.

This Christmas some people will experience “church” for the first time since the previous year. Some will be exposed to the Gospel for the first time. By God’s grace, some will trust Christ for the first time. Some will come back to Christ. Others will experience pain and grief during the holiday season. Some will become calloused in order to suppress emotions. Some will begin to distance themselves from others. Some will grow complacent with their faith commitments. Some will lose hope. And some will drift away from Christ.

We need you to be actively engaged as ambassadors for Christ! Will you choose to be used of God this holiday season? Here are five easy ways you and your Life Group can be on mission during the holidays:

  1. Choose to make worship attendance and Life Group meetings a priority this season. Keep others accountable. Call members when they are absent and encourage them to be present and engaged.
  2. Pray that God will help you see others through Jesus’ eyes. And pray for wisdom and boldness to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance to act on the Gospel.
  3. When present at church, actively engage with guests to help them connect in to what God is doing at Warren. Remember what it was like when you were a first time guest.
  4. When away from church, engage others with the gospel. As part of your normal everyday rhythms this Christmas, ask others how you can pray for them. Tell your cashier, “I know you must be busy this season. I am a Christian and one of the things we do is pray for people. Can I pray for you today?” Follow up with them and see how God acts.
  5. Demonstrate the Gospel by caring for others. Take a moment to call people on the phone and let them know you care. It only takes a minute. Invite them to coffee or dinner or a playdate or church. Offer to babysit for them. Bake them cookies. Take them Christmas shopping or to a doctor’s appointment. Share your excess wrapping paper. Find a way to invest in their lives for the sake of the gospel.

I am thankful for each of you and for all you do to lead communities that embrace a way of life centered on Jesus.

Isaiah 40:3-5
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken

Life Is Complicated | Week 17 Group Study

Here is this week’s Group Study to complement Pastor’s upcoming sermon Life Is Complicated: The Complication of Disease, Part 2.

NOTE: This is part 2 of 2 lessons from James 5:13-20. This week we will take an in-depth look at the ministry of prayer and its affect on the complications of life with regard to suffering, sickness, and sin.

Click here to download the Life Is Complicated | Week 17 Group Study (11.30.2014)

Distribution and Use:

Please forward this PDF on to your Life Group members. Encourage them to load it on their iPad or tablet device. If they prefer, they can print a copy and bring it to their Life Group Meeting. On Sunday mornings we have printed copies available at all of the welcome kiosks on both campuses, inside the Life Resources Center (Warren Augusta, D106), and inside the Life Groups Office (Warren Augusta, C105).

Life Is Complicated | Week 16 Group Study

Here is this week’s Group Study to complement Pastor’s upcoming sermon Life Is Complicated: The Complication of Disease, Part 1.

NOTE: This is part 1 of 2 lessons from James 5:13-20. This week we will focus on five foundational truths truths about suffering and next week we will take an in-depth look at the ministry of prayer and its affect on the complications of life with regard to suffering, sickness, and sin.

Click here to download the Life Is Complicated | Week 16 Group Study (11.23.2014)

Distribution and Use:

Please forward this PDF on to your Life Group members. Encourage them to load it on their iPad or tablet device. If they prefer, they can print a copy and bring it to their Life Group Meeting. On Sunday mornings we have printed copies available at all of the welcome kiosks on both campuses, inside the Life Resources Center (Warren Augusta, D106), and inside the Life Groups Office (Warren Augusta, C105).

Life Is Complicated | Week 15 Group Study

Here is this week’s Group Study to complement Pastor’s upcoming sermon Life Is Complicated: The Complication of Waiting.

Click here to download the Life Is Complicated | Week 15 Group Study (11.16.2014)

Distribution and Use:

Please forward this PDF on to your Life Group members. Encourage them to load it on their iPad or tablet device. If they prefer, they can print a copy and bring it to their Life Group Meeting. On Sunday mornings we have printed copies available at all of the welcome kiosks on both campuses, inside the Life Resources Center (Warren Augusta, D106), and inside the Life Groups Office (Warren Augusta, C105).

Life Is Complicated: The Complication of Waiting (James 5:7-12)

These resources are designed to assist Life Group Leaders as they prepare to lead their Life Group through a study of The Complication of Waiting (James 5:7-12).

Read It

  • Job
  • Matthew 24
  • 2 Peter 3:1-13

Think About It

  • Why is waiting a complication of life?
  • How can looking at the sufferings and endurance of those in the past (such as the prophets and Job) help us deal with our current problematic situations?
  • How are we to conduct our lives while we wait on Jesus?
  • How do we maintain patience in our lives while we wait on Jesus?
  • Is hardship a part of the normal Christian life? Why or why not?

Life Is Complicated | Week 14 Group Study

Here is this week’s Group Study to complement Pastor’s upcoming sermon Life Is Complicated: The Complication of Money.

Click here to download the Life Is Complicated | Week 14 Group Study (11.09.2014)

Distribution and Use:

Please forward this PDF on to your Life Group members. Encourage them to load it on their iPad or tablet device. If they prefer, they can print a copy and bring it to their Life Group Meeting. On Sunday mornings we have printed copies available at all of the welcome kiosks on both campuses, inside the Life Resources Center (Warren Augusta, D106), and inside the Life Groups Office (Warren Augusta, C105).

Life Is Complicated: The Complication of Money (James 5:1-6)

Read It

Think About It

  • Who are “the rich” that James refers to in James 5:1? What makes them rich?
  • How does the Gospel impact the way we handle our possessions?
  • How do we balance meeting the needs we have for ourselves and sharing in order to meet the needs of others?
  • What are the markers of a life that is lived as being rich toward God?

Watch It

Life Is Complicated | Week 13 Group Study

Here is this week’s Group Study to complement Pastor’s upcoming sermon Life Is Complicated: The Complication of Presumption.

Click here to download the Life Is Complicated | Week 13 Group Study (11.02.2014)

Distribution and Use:

Please forward this PDF on to your Life Group members. Encourage them to load it on their iPad or tablet device. If they prefer, they can print a copy and bring it to their Life Group Meeting. On Sunday mornings we have printed copies available at all of the welcome kiosks on both campuses, inside the Life Resources Center (Warren Augusta, D106), and inside the Life Groups Office (Warren Augusta, C105).