It’s not easy being the “new kid on the block,” is it? I’ve talked with quite a few guests at Northside who are a bit overwhelmed at how big the “crowds” are here and who are worried that it might be harder to get to know people here than at a smaller church.
We understand those anxious feelings, and a big part of what I do at Northside is to help new members make connections and find ways to serve. If it’s been a while since you were new here, let me remind you of what we do to accomplish those goals.
Becoming a Member – When someone wants to “place membership,” the elders arrange to meet with them at 8:30 on a Sunday morning so they can get to know each other. When that meeting is over, I take their picture and spend a little time telling them some things they need to know about the church. Most of my time with them, though, is spent on getting to know them so I can introduce them in the bulletin. At the end of worship that morning, we display the new member’s picture on the big screens and one of the elders introduces them. I also print the photo and put it on the New Members picture board in the foyer.
New Members’ Class – Once every three months, Brian Middleton and I teach a two-hour class for new members after morning worship. Childcare is provided and participants enjoy lunch together while they learn about Northside’s ministries, annual events, and ways they can use their gifts to serve others. This is also a great way for new members to get to know each other. The next class is scheduled for June 10.
New Members’ Dinner – Every spring and fall we hold a catered dinner on a Sunday evening and invite all new members who have not yet attended the dinner. This meal is also attended by the elders, deacons, staff, and their families, and the goal of the night is to give our leaders and new members an opportunity to get to know each other. The meals are coordinated by Lori Kingsley, who makes mouth-watering desserts and provides a delicious dinner from Hog Wild BBQ. Because of COVID, it’s been two and a half years since our last dinner, but this Sunday night, March 27, at 7:00, Lori is planning to feed 100 people who have RSVPed for the dinner.
Ministry Fair & Involvement Survey – Every year we ask our members (new and old) to fill out an involvement survey to let us know how they want to volunteer. For the past few years, we’ve combined the survey with a Ministry Fair in the Fellowship Hall during our regular Sunday morning class time. This year, the Ministry Fair will be held on April 10, and we’re expecting about 30 ministries to have table displays you can browse to learn more about the ministries and decide which ones YOU want to work with. We’ll start in the Auditorium that morning to hear short talks from a handful of ministry leaders, then we’ll dismiss to browse the displays and fill out the survey. Please mark your calendars now and plan to be there!