Connections ministry. A generation ago, the term didn’t exist in churches. Oh, we had it, whether you called it discipleship or church training or by some other descriptor. But today, you can barely throw a rock without hitting a church that has a connections ministry or a connections pastor.
But what should a connections ministry do, and how should they do it? That’s what our current generation of churches is constantly defining. Whether you count connections as the umbrella over evangelism, guest services, discipleship, small groups, or volunteer culture, you have to define what you’re doing and how you do it better.
That’s the reason for the Connections Confab. Whether you’re brand new to your ministry position or a seasoned vet, we’re providing a common table where big churches, small churches, and in between churches can learn from one another and develop strategies to carry connections ministry forward.
What is it?
- Four on-site sessions at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, led by Danny Franks, Connections Pastor.
- In-depth discussions, coaching, and practical engagement on the following topics:
- Guest services. Honoring guests without losing the gospel, engineering your weekend for the outsider, mechanical vs. organic hospitality, creating and protecting your church’s guest services DNA, building and casting vision for the “why” behind the “what.”
- Connected to committed. Planning for the second visit, developing next steps, covenant membership, strategies to help newcomers.
- Volunteer culture. Identifying, inviting, training, and keeping volunteers, preventing vision leaks, micromanagement vs. quality control, structuring your teams for success.
- Leadership development. Raising up high-capacity volunteers, leadership pipeline, giving away good people, defining and adding to your connections staff team.
- Your stuff. The best training will come from each other, as we explore the current struggles and successes in your local context.
Who should come?
- Full-time ministers who consider guest services, volunteer ministry, or covenant membership their key areas of focus.
- Part-time or intern staff who are struggling to keep their heads above water and need to get the right tools in their tool box.
- Senior pastors who don’t know exactly what this should look like in their churches, but know it’s not currently happening.
- Multi-site church leaders who are building the airplane while it’s in the air, and trying to keep their ever-growing systems under control.
- Leaders of ministries like kids, students, small groups, etc., who want to infuse gospel-driven hospitality into their culture, ethos, and DNA.
- Not everybody and their cousin. To keep conversation high and anonymity low, we’re keeping the Confab to a dozen people or less.
What do I get?
- The Confab requires an investment of $875 per person, and includes…
- …four full days of practical, targeted, applicable training that will help you grow as a leader and help your church grow in the area of assimilation.
- …a new community of friends and kindred spirits from the world of connections ministry. The intentionally small gathering will lend itself to relationships that last long after our final meeting.
- …a ton of resources, from books to tools to documents to…you name it, we’ll fill your carry-on bag with it.
- …a semester’s worth of informal coaching and consulting to help with your particular process issues.
- …observation of connections events in action, to help you match theory with practice.
- …breakfast, lunch, and snacks (lots and lots of snacks) for all days on site.
- …a behind the curtain, all-access look at the guest services processes of the Summit Church, a multi-site congregation that welcomes thousands of attendees and hundreds of guests on a weekly basis.
What others are saying:
- There are things that I have learned…that brought me back to the excitement and passion I had for ministry when I first began several years ago. – Derek Arnold, Lead Pastor, Crosspoint Mission Church, Jacksonville, NC
- Confab provides a valuable lens through which to examine what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. – Steven Murray, Director of Communications, Houston’s First Baptist Church, Houston, TX
- …so inspiring and encouraging. I’ve learned so much and have had such an amazing time taking back what I’ve learned to our church. – Destiny Stamps, Volunteer Coordinator, Covenant Love Church, Fayetteville, NC
- If you’ve been serving or leading in this capacity for 3 months or 10 years, you will walk away with how to be more effective. The Confab gives you practical ideas you can implement in your ministry no matter the size. – Barry Ginn, Life Group and Connection Pastor, Bethel Church, Goldsboro, NC
- …an incredible and worthwhile investment into me personally as a ministry staff member. – Eric Clark, Assimilation Minister, Stonegate Fellowship, Midland, TX
- The team at the Summit Church are passionate about helping your church succeed in the area of First Impressions; they want to help you figure out ways to apply what you learn within your local context. – Cameron Wagner, Connections Director, Richland Creek Community Church, Wake Forest, NC
- Confab helped me connect the whys and hows of ministry to the importance of getting people connected to the church in order for them to know Jesus more. – Josh Benfield, Associate Pastor of Formation, Waypoint Church, Durham, NC
- I’d do it again in a minute and recommend it to anyone – any role – that cares about seeing people connected to the local church and its mission! – Tammy Steele, Director of Connections, Calvary Christian Church, Bellevue, NE