Join Advent Next this week as we talk with Carlton Byrd on the call to ministry exploring the challenges as well as the rewards of what it means to work in the master's vineyard.
FULL TRANSCRIPT Dr. Carlton Byrd:
Michelle Odinma: So we've talked about evangelism and you know, doing the mission you put on the programs, you do all this. And then what about retention? Because that's been a big issue for a lot of people from North American division pastors. How do you maintain or keep all of those people who stood up and came forward to make commitment?
Carlton Byrd: I think the same emphasis that we have on recruitment, we must have on retention. So the same level of intent, intentionality with resources, money, people and the level of engagement. We have to do that with retention. And that [00:02:00] requires work. That requires with evangelists and the Bible workers and the team are gone, that the church has to engage in that same level of, of commitment that was given to recruitment with retention.
So with that, that means visitation has to continue. Programming has to continue and it has to continue with the level of excellence that proceeded it. Okay. It has to, so the same way we were intentional about children's ministries during the public evangelistic campaign. We have to be intentional about that post the campaign.
The visitation, as I said, the music, as I said, the technology, right? We can't be afraid to resource these things.
Kendra Arsenault: Right. What were those three things that you mentioned that we need to have like a, this, you know, people need to want to come.
Carlton Byrd: Okay. [00:03:00] So I was reading a book and, um, if worship, you know, we talked about post the campaign. Sure. If worship is to contribute to the growth of your church, three things must be true. Number one, members have to want to attend. If members don't want to be there, why would anyone else, and for me, the litmus test for me has always been my family. If my wife, if our kids, if they don't want to be there, then probably, yeah.
The members don't want to be, you follow what I'm saying? I mean, we can do technology. We can do all different things. We can pass out handbills what we used to do years ago, or flyers about our church and whatnot, but, but if your people don't want to be there, why would anyone else. Number two, your members have to be proud to invite guests. Okay. So members have and the members have to want to invite others to what's in a, so word of mouth. You know, [00:04:00] when we moved to a city, yeah. We can go online and we will look at the area. We can look at school districts, we can look at houses, you know, with, with real estate books or online catalogs or whatever you want to call it.
But the greatest impact on where we live, when we moved to a city is a word of mouth testimony. If we know someone in that city and they tell us, this is a good area, this is a good house, we're gonna weigh that more heavily. So the same is true with church. If members are proud to invite their friends, then you got to come to my church.
You've got to hear my pastor, hear our music, see our ministry offerings. That is going to weigh more heavily. Yeah. Then if someone just reads about it. So number one, members have to want to attend. Number two, they have to be proud to invite guests. And so often in our churches, yeah, but don't come this week, this one speaking, don't come this week, tis one singer, Oh, I don't want you to come.
No. Every time the doors [00:05:00] open, it has to be assessed. So to the original question, how do we retain people the same way we were intentional about recruiting people. We have to have that with retention of people. Okay. And then thirdly, whoever attends is eager to return. Yeah. Okay. So those three things I think are critical, and that's in my book.
Yeah. Those two things are critical in terms of the retention of people. So after the same way, we were like, you've got to come, members are excited about coming to the public evangelistic campaign. Then, that same way they're excited about coming to church the same way they were willing to invite people to come to the campaign.
They're willing to invite people to come to church, and then whoever comes is eager to return.