A discipleship Track to help Connect Team Leaders at Grace Church lead their Connect Teams by creating a welcoming environment and connect people to the mission of the Church.
If you have any questions about these conversations or want us to discuss a topic in a future conversation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
03: The People - Who Welcomes Members and Guests
In this episode, referencing the Connect Team Handbook (GraceChurchSC.org/ConnectTeamHandbook), host Chris Rivers interviews Brad Walbridge and Tim Bosier as they discuss the people involved in welcoming members and guests. They look at various Connect Team roles and explore the question: how do we engage with the people we see at our campuses each week using a discipleship lens? For Connect Team volunteers, the primary mission is to help people feel connected to the church. This means, regardless of your role, there is always an undercurrent of looking for new faces and focusing on ways to improve the experience and comfort level for members and guests. Specific roles are explored, including:
Connect Team Lead- This is a person who is really clear on who Grace is as a church and is involved in worshipping and serving. They act as a model for the rest of the team. They are knowledgeable, lead or assist in training new volunteers, and drive the vision and growth of the team
Parking Team - Individuals serving on the parking team are the first impression for guests. They are responsible for engaging people as they walk in and directing them to where they need to go. This can also include small tasks such as helping a family with young children as they are getting out of the car.
Welcome and Greeting Team - A member of this team should be welcoming, engaging, and highly energetic. Their goal is always connection. They seek to meet new people each week and build relationships. They also escort guests to destinations such as the worship center, children’s check in, or the guest services team.
Guest Services Team - This is a person who has the ability to move towards people and make them feel welcomed. They are aware of what is going on and are knowledgeable about the activities and ministries at Grace. They help to connect the dots for guests and members.
Usher Team - This role is often viewed as logistical, but is vital for creating a welcoming environment. Ushers are not simply tasked with seating people, but with having a pulse for who is coming in and out and looking for ways to interact. They should be warm, inviting, and approachable.
Safety Team - The mission of a safety team volunteer to serve attendees by helping to create a safe environment for worship services. While they should be alert and aware of what is going on around them, they are also responsible for connecting with people. These connections often help them
Review the “People” section in the Connect Team Handbook (LINK). Talk about what you have heard with your CT lead, campus pastor, or other group members.
If you are already serving, think of one small step you can take this week to help someone feel more connected. If you are new to serving, brainstorm one idea you could implement in your new role.
02: The Process - How We Welcome Members and Guests
In this episode, referencing the Connect Team Handbook (GraceChurchSC.org/ConnectTeamHandbook), host Chris Rivers interviews Will Fallaw from the Travelers Rest campus of Grace Church. Throughout the podcast, Will strives to unpack the processes within Connect Team that allow each member to use their role as a volunteer to further opportunities for discipleship, which is the mission of the church. Will emphasizes the importance of creating a process as a connect team to help pull the church body into discipleship. He warns that without it, our natural tendency is to become too invested in connecting within a team and neglect the mission of the team itself, which is to help connect the body of the church to each other. Without a great process to eliminate distraction, this ministry can be chaotic and unfruitful. Chris and Will discuss three big ways to welcome members and guests, including tips for embracing the potential awkwardness and staying mission-minded through practical strategy and intentional communication.
Review the “Process” section in the Connect Team Handbook (LINK). Talk about what you have heard with your CT lead, campus pastor, or other group members.
Get a copy of the Connect Team Game Plan to review on your own.
Ask a campus pastor for this resource if it is already created, or get it on paper if one is needed. Encourage other CT members to review and discuss this with you!
Commit to listening to Episode 3 of the Connect Team Conversations.
01: The Purpose - Why We Welcome Members and Guests
In this episode, referencing the Connect Team Handbook (GraceChurchSC.org/ConnectTeamHandbook), Chris Rivers speaks with Derek Nelson and Chas Crenshaw about the purpose of Connect Teams. They explore the importance of creating a welcoming environment for newcomers. This includes prioritizing guests, personally engaging them, and taking steps to connect them to the mission of the church. By utilizing various techniques such as asking personal questions, remembering names, and directing people to resources (i.e. childcare, coffee, information, etc), Connect Team members can offer an approach that is both personal and authentic. This can also lead to feelings of greater connectedness among guests and a desire to pursue next steps within the church. Chas and Derek reiterate the importance of the huddle in casting this type of vision. A huddle is a unique opportunity for Connect Team members to meet each week before the service begins. During this time, leaders pray for the group, provide encouragement, and remind team members of the “why” behind what they do. This helps to refocus the team on the mission and prevents members from simply going through the motions.
Questions for Reflection
Prior to serving in your Connect Team role, take time to answer this question:
What does it look like to be hospitable? What can I do to ensure the guests I interact with today feel as comfortable as possible?
After serving, take time to reflect on these questions:
How many guests did our campus see this week?
How many guests did I personally meet?
What are the names of the guests I met?
Review the “Purpose” section in the Connect Team Handbook. Discuss any questions or insights with your Connect Team Leader or campus pastor.
Consider the “questions for reflection” during your next serving opportunity.
Commit to listen to Episode 2 of the Connect Team Conversations.
11: Introducing the 60/40 with Will Fallaw and Lauren Rowland
Back in July of 2019, when COVID began to be more challenging for us all, several of us began to ask ourselves, "how do we help volunteers think of their role as a function of discipleship and not just parking cars, waving at people, and helping people find a seat?"
We put some language together and ultimately started introducing this to our Campus Connect Team Leads with the hope that we could focus on successfully accomplishing the mission (making disciples) and our ministry (Connect/Safety Team). We called it the 60/40.
In this interview, Chris Rivers speaks with Will Fallaw and Lauren Rowland who serve on the Connect Team at Grace Church's Travelers Rest Campus. They recently hosted a training with their team to discuss the 60/40 and how to implement it.
Here’s a suggestion on how to kick off the 60/40 with your volunteer team.
Share the interview with your volunteers and staff.
Ask your team to take a week or two to listen to the content and come up with 1 or 2 ideas that could help advance the growth of discipleship within your team members. Give them enough time to listen to this conversation and come up with ideas. Then
Meet together as a team and brainstorm some of the following questions:
What did you like best about the principles outlined in the 60/40?
What does our team think about discipleship? (new leaders vs. seasoned leaders, are there evident gaps or needs for equipping around certain topics?)
What content from the podcast might be most helpful for our volunteers?
How should we adapt and roll out this content in our context? (I.e. huddles or a big training?)
If you have questions, need help with implementation, or just want us to discuss a topic on the podcast, please email us at email@example.com.
10: Situational & Medical Safety Training
The Grace Church Central Situational Safety Training was conducted on Thursday, Nov 7, 2019, at the Grace Church Pelham Campus.
Access the meeting agenda and the 11 different situational safety scenarios here.
09: Staying Connected with Kenny Gilliland
In this episode, we hear from Kenny Gilliland, Connect Team volunteer at the Grace Church Powdersville Campus. Kenny shares why he believes serving on a Connect Team is vital in our discipleship journey and addresses the covid19 proximity challenge and how we can stay connected.
- What Grace Believes about Serving (http://bit.ly/384j0EZ).
- Connect Team Roster Template and action steps (https://bit.ly/2wqPHiZ).
- Want to get plugged into our serving community? Connect with us at Hellograce.church
If you have any questions about the Podcast or want us to discuss a topic on a future episode, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.