I’ve been asked before why church membership matters (or in our case, why PARTnership mattes). Considering what I see happening (and not happening) in churches around here and elsewhere, that’s a reasonable question. In fact, over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about it as a staff.
We realized that we ask people to attend one of our classes, live up to our expectations, serve in our ministries, give to our vision and tell friends about our church. But what do we as a church do for people who PARTner with us? How do we bless them the way their committed participation blesses us?
We thought about that and determined that we’re a little weak in this area. We ask a lot, but don’t offer much more to PARTners than we do to regular attenders. So here’s what we’re planning to do about it.
1. Provide more “insider info” to our PARTners. We’ll let them know ahead of time about some of the exciting things that will be happening in the near future, share our growth numbers and projections and invite feedback on proposed ideas.. We’ll be working on putting together a monthly newsletter just for PARTners where we’ll give people a better idea of what’s going on (or about to be going on)
2. Spend time together. Every quarter we’ll invite our PARTners to join us for a night out. There, we’ll share some of the wins we’ve had, encourage one another, cast the vision, and spend face time with those that are and have been committed to moving us forward. Of course we’ll share some food and have some fun.
3. Invest in them. Once a year, right before PARTnership renewals, we’ll have a retreat of sorts. We’ll get away for a night or weekend, but we’ll only take a couple hours of the time to celebrate victories and look ahead to the future. The rest of the time there will be our gift to our PARTners and their families. While we won’t foot the entire bill, we plan to subsidize enough to make it affordable and attractive for every family (or couple if you want to leave the kids at home)
We’re still trying to nail down details and we hope that our PARTners will feel as valued and honored by us as we do by them.