When someone walks into your church as a newcomer, what do you want them to know?
Well, most of all you want them to know God as their Father—if they don’t already—and Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord, and the Holy Spirit as their advocate and guide.
But you’d also want a newcomer to get to know you and your congregation. You’d want them to meet some people and get to know them; and you’d probably like them to get to know what your church is really on about, what makes you tick, and why this might be a spiritual family that they could feel confident and glad to join.
Now all this takes time and patience and some personal relationship and follow-up. But it would be handy if we could use a simple structure to kickstart the process.
And that’s where GTK comes in. GTK: Get To Know is a simple four-week program for newcomers to help them:
- get to know God
- get to know your church
- get to know some other people
- get to know one of your ministry staff.
GTK has a very simple format. Over coffee or a meal, participants:
- get to know some other newcomers as well as some of the regulars
- do a simple Bible study in each session that focuses on a key aspect of the God who made us and redeems us through Jesus
- get to know the fundamentals of church and what you stand for (bouncing off the big central Bible truths in the sessions), as well as the specifics of how you organize things and what it means for them to join you.
We’ve worked particularly hard to make GTK as widely and generally useful for as many different churches as possible. For example, the central Bible passages and truths in each session are the kind of central gospel teachings that you’d want everyone to know, and that every church (we would hope!) would hold dear.
Likewise, when the sessions express how these big biblical themes shape your church life, the points that are made should apply to every Bible-believing gospel church.
All the same, there will no doubt be details and emphases that vary from church to church—and that’s the neat thing about GTK. It’s fully customizable. We’ve put GTK together in a coherent ready-to-use package that you can easily adapt and modify to suit your own congregation and denomination, your own context and your own particular needs. You can also modify the material to suit the time you have available—on average each GTK session as written will take around an hour to complete, but you could reduce or extend this depending on how much time you want to spend getting to know one another, or how much information you want to share about your church, and so on.
This customisation is possible because GTK is only available in digital form. There are no booklets or manuals or DVDs to purchase. All the material—along with the graphics, invitation cards and so on—is supplied in a number of downloadable formats that you can modify and adapt for your own context.
Just download the Word files supplied here, make whatever changes you think necessary, print out the sheets, put them in a nice folder, and you’re ready to go!