CCLP 013: Christine Birch on Connecting New People Who Come to Your Church

Christine Birch has been part of three large churches in both Canada and the US. How do you connect people in a large church and how do you connect them at your church? Christine shares her experiences on both sides of the border as they apply to large and small churches alike.

Welcome to Episode 013 of the podcast, which you can access on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Guest Links

Christine on Facebook

Christine on Instagram

Christine at Connexus Church

Links Mentioned

Compassion Canada

Canadian Church Leaders Conference

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

The E-Myth Revisited

A Mission Partner

Looking for a mission partner? Compassion Canada helps release children from poverty around the world, and they do it through the local church.

They can help you develop a mission strategy for your church that can change the world, whether your church is large or small.

For a free consult, contact them at

Want to Reach More People?

Canadian Church Leaders Conference

How different is ministry in Canada?

Join us June 14-16, 2018 in Barrie, Ontario for the Canadian Church Leaders Conference, a conference designed to help Canadian Church Leaders reach people.  Intimate, interactive and featuring all new talks. This years speakers include Laurel Buckingham (Moncton Wesleyan), Shaila Visser (Alpha Canada),  Jon Thompson (C4 Church), Jeff Brodie (Connexus) and Carey Nieuwhof. 

Registration is officially open. 

Secure your spot now to grab the early bird rate before the tickets are gone. It’s already 40% sold out!

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Posture your church so that guests feels expected and accepted

People assume that community will just happen organically, but no matter the size of your church it takes intentionality and hustle. Size doesn’t have anything to do with how warm or cold a church can feel to a new attender and church staff must develop a welcoming posture to ensure a guest feels expected and accepted. 

2. Make your follow up with new guests quick, personal and generous

Connexus Church has a great system for following up with guests. It isn’t time consuming and offers personal notes with generous gestures to make people feel welcomed into community. Here’s an overview your church can use and modify to fit your needs.

First Sunday: Connections Card & Small Gift (example: coffee mug)

Week One: Handwritten Post Card from a volunteer, Bombbomb Email from Campus Pastor, Personal Phone Call from a staff member

Week Two (Attender): Hand written, stamped and addressed Note with Gift Card

Week Two (Absent): If a family doesn’t return,  mail a hand stamped and addressed Letter with incentive to return (example: coupon for a free book)

If attenders opt in to receive emails, send regular invitations to attend a new members style class and any current events happening on campus.

3. Honouring the personal space and privacy of attendees shows them respect and protects your church, too

Never force attendees to identify themselves. Instead, respect personal space by allowing them to remain anonymous until they feel comfortable being known. In the mean time, make sure that those next steps are clear and easily available so people can engage your church when they are ready.

If people have volunteered email addresses to receive information about your church you have the responsibility to continue communicating to them until they opt out, but take the time to learn Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation to protect your church from legal battles.

Quotes from This Episode

Does Church in Canada Have to Stay Small?

So you would love to reach more people, but how? Your church just can’t seem to sustainably grow past the 200 barrier.

You’re reaching new families every month, but it’s like pouring water into a leaking bucket: you just can’t grow past your current plateau. What gives?

Breaking 200 Without Breaking You can help you and your team break through the barrier 85% of churches never move past: the 200 attendance barrier.

So many leaders who try to break it either get stuck at 50, 100 or 200 in attendance or burned out in the process of trying.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Believe it or not, the reasons most churches never break 200 aren’t spiritual reasons, they’re practical reasons. Strategic reasons.

The course tackles eight key issues that keep churches from passing the 200 barrier and beyond. It includes:

  • 8 videos designed to guide you and your leadership team through all the key growth barriers smaller churches face.
  • 150 page downloadable workbook for you and your team.
  • 12 licenses, so you can take your entire team through it—board, staff, key volunteers—whoever you want (that’s about $20 a person).
  • A bonus cheat sheet with access to 20 free resources designed to take you further.
  • A private Breaking 200 Facebook Group access exclusive to the first 1000 purchasers.

So whether your church is 50, 150 or 250 in attendance, the principles will help you gain the insight you need to break the barrier more than 85% of churches can’t break.

Click here to get instant access!

The podcast releases the first Monday of every month.

Subscribe for free if you’re Canadian, or just interested in ministry in a post-Christian culture.

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Plus, I host a weekly podcast called the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast.  Subscribe below and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.


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Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you and your church reach more people. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review!

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Brett Ullman

Mental health is not a subject we discuss well in the church. But at any given time, about 20% of your church and leaders are struggling with various mental health issues. Brett Ullman, a nationally respected speaker and authority on parenting and teens, talks about how his struggles started and how to respond in the church and in leadership when mental health issues arise.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 014.

CCLP 013: Christine Birch on Connecting New People Who Come to Your Church


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  5. Taraji Gadot on November 19, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    great Information about connecting people to people. But i want to add one more step, with the help of people
    feed back you can get more fruitful results. You should engage general public in this regards..

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  7. Ron on February 15, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    This was a great conversation. Very helpful. It would be great if you could post some of the resources mentioned in the podcast. (Connect card, etc.) Thanks!

  8. Rob Fraser on December 4, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    This episode was SUPER helpful – even for us in the lower 48 here. (Sorry if I’m not supposed to listen.) Lots of great practical “how to” reminders to focus on when the unchurched are walking through our doors. I had all my leaders & staff listen.

  9. Trena on November 7, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Great podcast and information!!! You mentioned putting a copy of the Connection Card in the show notes. Have I missed that somewhere? If so, please direct me to the proper place to find it. Would love to see it. Thank you!

    • Kelly on November 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Yes please!

  10. Cheryl on November 7, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I listen to your podcasts weekly and this has been, by far, one of the most practical and helpful tools I have heard. Leadership theory and ideals are good to inspire, by step by step how to’s are bits and pieces I can use to implement into what I do day to day.

  11. Amy Kay Watson on November 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Regarding locked doors, I recently learned about an American church that is hosting an inadequately-documented immigrant and granting him sanctuary. In order to ensure Immigration doesn’t just walk into the church and arrest him, they are keeping the doors locked 24/7, which includes Sunday mornings. However, they are posting greeters at all the doors to make sure everyone who wants to enter the church can. (And apparently they’re getting trained in how to spot and talk with ICE officials.)

  12. Harold on November 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I loved your podcast…I learned so much from this one…I would love to see the connection card 🙂

    • Allie on November 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Question– can you post a copy of the Connexus connect card and examples of your follow-up materials (mugs, postcards, etc)? Thanks!

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