Church and the
A Deaf church will
grow and expand to the extent that it fosters connections between
its members and the surrounding Deaf community.
Connections include: to each other, to inactive (or less active)
members, to investigators and to the general
So ask yourself, "How can we foster genuine friendships between
church members?" How can we get them communicating with each other
"outside" of church during the other six days of the week?
Make sure that intercommunication is easy: distribute phone and
Make sure they know where each other lives: distribute maps and
Make sure they know each other's hobbies: interview and
disseminate, do spotlights, and news letters.
Make sure the members know who their assigned families are, where
they live, and how to contact them.
For example, what if you were to get a list of birthdays from your
and then consistently go through that list each week and find out
all the kids (and adults) who have birthdays and then make sure that
the home teacher or visit teacher pays a visit to the kid on his or
While it is "good" for one or two church leaders to visit a less active member, it is
immeasurably more impactful for them to empower and inspire the
regular Deaf member to go out and visit and teach other Deaf. For example,
suppose you decide to "visit" Lisa Smith. Instead of visiting her,
find out what other church members live near her, then play match maker
between the active member and Lisa by setting up the appointment,
drawing a map, committing the member to show up on the assigned day
and otherwise greasing the way for it to happen. Then see what you
can do about getting one or two MORE members to show up and/or one
of the recently converted members to show up.
Encourage the members to host many small get-togethers at their
houses and to invite other members to attend.
In doing so, you help form interconnections that will
eventually become friendships and grow your church.
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