Being Shy isn’t a Sin! Tips to Connect With Introverts
There are all kinds of personalities in the world. God created us as unique beings, everyone with their own preferences, quirks, and gifts. There is no one on this earth that is an exact clone of you. We are always learning about ourselves and we use what we learn to connect and engage with others. It’s how we are known amongst our friends, family, or coworkers.
It’s hard when we go to a new place where we aren’t known. As we adapt to our new surroundings, it’s not easy to find the first place to connect. Especially if your personality is hardwired as an introvert, it’s even more intimidating to take the first step toward connection in a new environment.
Research shows that 4-5% of annual church attendance is comprised of guests. What might surprise pastors is that church is a new environment for people these days. The era where everyone went to church as a kid is over, making the need for a quality and strategic guest experience even more dire. Like everything in the church, if you are going to make the most of every opportunity, it’s important to be intentional. When a guest walks through the door, that is the time to be intentional.
Does your church offer a free gift, parking space, or acknowledge that guests might be in the building from the stage? Or, the most excruciating for any guest (but I’ve seen it), do you ask them to stand? The truth is, not everyone is comfortable being recognized, especially if they aren’t built to feel comfortable in the spotlight. The old saying goes, “treat someone how you’d like to be treated.” But honestly, sometimes putting off your own preferences and thinking about the wide array of other personalities around you can change the saying, for the better, to “treat others how they would like to be treated.”
The guest experience in a church has become extroverted focused, but there is a way to incorporate and capture everyone, no matter their personality.
Ideally, a guest strategy includes the whole experience: how to invite, interact, follow up, and retain. But for introverts, the hardest of these steps is the interaction piece. An introverted person is not wired to make the first connection with someone whom they aren’t familiar, and that’s ok.
But with the screen of their phone in front of them and a digital space to take refuge, you can creatively interact with any guest, digitally, without making them feel uncomfortable.
The Power of A Question: All It Takes Is A Form
With the use your church app, you can create a form that allows guests to ask a question as their first point of connection, instead of a face to face interaction. For example, creating a form in your app called “Ask A Pastor” for anyone who might have a question about, well, anything. From logistics of your church services, to a spiritual question, to what a guest may be too embarrassed to ask someone face to face, this form is a virtual link between you and your guests that might be less abrasive than other guest tactics. This technology will allow to not make a potentially impersonal and intimidating interaction personal again. Once the question is submitted, make the answer personal, and part of the follow up guest process with your internal team. Eliminating potential barriers, like having to go to a guest booth or even fill out a connection card, with technology through your church app is a step in the right direction.
When it comes to inviting guests, welcoming them, following up with them, and compelling them to stick around, the way we connect with is very important. God created us for relationship, and when the timing is right, everyone will find their place, whether that be in a small group, serving, or teaching. There are plenty of opportunities for us to help people get connected—and stay that way. Using technology widens opportunities for connecting guests to the local church, in hopes of one day ultimately connecting them in relationship to the body of Christ and Christ Himself.