Relationships of any kind require work. Your church may struggle if you aren’t actively working to create better, lasting relationships with your congregants. 

Being friendly and open with your church members is both the Godly thing to do and a great way to create a robust experience that will help your church grow. But if you’re unsure where to start, you’re not alone. 

How can you create stronger relationships with those who worship alongside you? In this article, we’ll look at some practical steps to get to know your congregation – and allow them to get to know each other. 


6 Ways to Build Better Relationships with Your Congregants

1. Get organized with a CRM 

    Sometimes the best way to tackle a big project is to get organized. And CRMs are a great tool to help. 

    Client Relationship Management software (CRM) – sometimes known as Relationship Management Software (RMS) – is your one-stop shop to store all the necessary information about your congregants. 

    Use your CRM to track the following: 

    • Contact information 
    • Personal details 
    • Church attendance 
    • Small groups and volunteers 
    • Inbound and outbound communication 
    • Donations, tithes, and offerings 

    Some systems even help you track prayer requests! 

    There are many options for church CRM or RMS tools. Planning Center is a popular choice, as is Rock RMS. 


    2. Address people by name 

    This may seem obvious, but addressing your congregants by name is a great way to make them feel welcomed, respected, and understood. 

    While it may seem daunting to learn the names of all of your church members, seasoned pastors often have a few tricks up their sleeves. Consider hosting regular meet and greets or fellowship time after Sunday service and provide nametags for all who attend. While all your congregants may not stick around, this will help you get to know people on a smaller scale. 

    Your CRM can help you remember names and details about your churchgoers, too. Add any significant details you learn about someone to their profile on your CRM tool. 


    3. Give genuine acknowledgments 

    When someone gives to your church, how do you respond? The way you acknowledge your congregants’ generosity can have a big impact on building stronger relationships. 

    acknowledging congregants for their generosity

    You may not be able to send gift acknowledgments for every offering, but when someone goes above and beyond to give to your church, it’s important to thank them the right way. 

    Acknowledgment letters should be signed by your church leaders to have more of a personal touch. If someone has given to a specific campaign, like a capital campaign to expand your church building, be sure to show them the impact of their gift – i.e., because you gave, we’ll be able to host ten more children in every Sunday school classroom. 

    Remind them that giving to the church is an act of worship – and ensure them that the church will be an excellent steward of their generosity. 


    4. Create opportunities for involvement 

    One way to get to know your congregants better? Have them around more! 

    Getting your congregants more involved in your church does a few things:

    • Boosts engagement to maintain church attendance numbers 
    • Creates a more fulfilling experience and brings them closer to God 
    • Helps your church! 

    Creating volunteer opportunities and other events and activities also allows you to spend more time with congregants and build meaningful relationships that will sustain your church in the long term. Find additional tips on getting your congregants more involved with your church in this blog. 


    5. Use a connection card that truly connects 

    If it’s been a while since you updated your connection card for new or potential members, it may be time to rethink it. 

    What you ask on your card can help your new congregants feel welcome, see all your church has to offer, and create a genuine connection. 

    Here are some features you can add to your connection card to get to know new churchgoers better: 

    • Volunteer interests and sign-up options 
    • Prayer requests and how your church handles them
    • Newsletter opt-in and newsletter types, if you have several
    • A section to ask questions 
    • General information about your church 

    This may be too much to add to a physical connection card – but a digital card can help you collect this information more efficiently and privately. Consider posting QR codes around your church to help congregants easily fill out their online cards. 


    6. Send your pastors out for visits 

    Pastoral visits are a special way to form those deeper connections with your congregants. Send your pastors out to community events, one-on-one visits with church members who are experiencing hardship or are unable to attend weekly service, or any other gathering where many of your congregants may be present. 

    Pastoral visits to the community

    A visit from their pastor is a great way to remind them that God is with them – and so is your church. 


    How to Help Your Congregants Have Better Relationships 

    Creating meaningful relationships amongst your church members is equally as important to the longevity of your church and the quality of their experience. Here are some ways you can help!

    1. Encourage interaction 

    Most churches encourage attendees to stand and greet those around them. How can your church take this a step further? 

    Perhaps you can ask your attendees to tell their neighbors something God has given them recently. Or it can be as simple as providing icebreakers to your audience and encouraging them to share with those around them. 

    Whatever it is, you have the power to break down those walls and help your congregants connect. 


    2. Spotlight members in your newsletter

    Creating a community can be difficult, but if you send a regular church newsletter, you’re one step ahead!

    Add a member spotlight section to highlight a church member and their family. Ask them for get-to-know-you details like where they’re from, what they do, and how they found your church. This will help create a culture of openness and community in your church. 


    3. Create guilds and small groups 

    It’s hard to make meaningful connections in a big group every Sunday. That’s where small groups and guilds come in! 

    Create groups based on interests and demographics (for example, men’s and women’s groups) to help your congregants connect on a more intimate and personal level. This will boost their experience of your church and ensure they stay engaged and attend regularly. 

    Youth ministries are another great way to help foster connection amongst your younger congregants. Their parents will appreciate the chance to get closer, too! 


    Conclusion 

    Your church should be a place of refuge and welcome to your congregants. That’s why creating stronger bonds is so important! Plus, engaged members lead to a stronger, more sustainable church experience. 

    We hope these tips will help you craft meaningful relationships with every person in your church. After all, “let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). 
    Many congregants find a connection with your church through giving. Donorbox MinistryMatters provides a one-stop church fundraising platform with donation forms, crowdfunding, event ticketing, automated tithing, and more, making it easy for your church members to stay connected no matter how they want to give. Sign up today and start raising more for your church in less than fifteen minutes.

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