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What’s NEXT?

July 14, 2012 — Leave a comment

NEXT is a small gathering of people who are interested in hearing more about Two Cities Church or looking for a NEXT step to get more involved with the mission of Two Cities Church. We’re hosting a NEXT event this Friday, July 20, at 6:30pm. Click on the link to RSVP and for directions. RSVP quick because we’re capping it off at 40 people.


This is a part of a blog series that is unpacking what I heard, learned and am still processing from the Drive Conference a few weeks ago.

Breakout: Creating a Starting Point for Seekers, Starters and Returners by Justin Elam

Intro: Our goal is to share how our key assumptions about seekers, starters and returners impact the environment we create to reach them.

I. Creating an effective environment begins with identifying the target audience, knowing the culture, and clearly defining spiritual growth.
A. The target audience for Starting Point is seekers, starters and returners
1. Seekers are investigating the Christian faith
2. Starters are new to a relationship with Jesus Christ
3. Returners have attended church in the past, but have been away
B. To effectively reach our target audience, we must constantly study our culture
C. Spiritual growth is a life-long process that God oversees

II. Our experience has led to several core learnings
A. Simplicity is key, especially at the beginning
B.  Safety is critical for authentic conversations about faith
C. Conversations are more effective than presentations
D. Connection is as important as Content
E. Never underestimate the power of Story

III. The Starting Point environment and curriculum are strategic responses to the needs of our target audience
A. The keys to Starting Point’s effectiveness:
1. Keeping it Simple
2. Maintaining a focus on Safety
3. Encouraging dialogues, not monologues
4. Focusing on relationships
5. Telling the whole story
B. Starting Point depends on quality facilitation
1. Facilitators set the tone for a safe environment
2. Great facilitators lead through questions
3. Facilitators succeed when connection happens

Side Notes and Tips:d

  • Connection trumps Information
  • In the 1st or 2nd week make 1 connection outside of the group, it goes far
  • When leaders connect outside the environment, the retention rate of those who start and those who finish is almost 100%
  • In week 9 unpack some “next steps” that people can take when the group finishes