Meetup.com and Church Planting
One of the many challenges with planting a church is connecting with unbelievers and sharing the gospel with them. How do we meet non-Christians and have natural and regular conversations with them about spiritual matters? One of things we’ve found success in lately as we plant Cross of Christ Fellowship in downtown Naperville is through using the website meetup.com
Meetup.com is a social networking website where individuals form groups of people with like-minded interests who meet in person for various activities or events. Some meet to watch football games, others to play board games, others hang out with other moms, or anything else. After a person signs up for an account, the website informs you of groups in the area that match your interests. Then after joining a group you can register for and attend various events. Anyone can join for free and participate, but those who host a group pay a monthly fee.
We’ve started two meetup groups in Naperville that are focused around the activity of having spiritual discussions: ‘Coffee and Conversations‘ and ‘Ask a Pastor.’ The purpose of these groups is to both serve the needs of the community–the real need to discuss life’s most important topics (meaning in life, morality, what happens after we die) with others–and give us opportunities to share the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. By God’s grace, at each of these groups we have had regular and consistent conversations with unbelievers (atheists, agnostics, New Age, Mormons) and even had some individuals visit our community group during the week or church on Sunday!
Here’s a little more about how we run the meetups:
Coffee and Conversations meets twice a month at a Barnes & Noble Cafe. I lead a discussions on a relevant topic (like ‘Can a person be spiritual but not religious?’) and we spend an hour or so discussing it together. My job is mainly facilitating: I come up with questions and seek to lead the group forward–making sure everyone is heard and respected. In this, I’m also able to share the Christian perspective and truth of the gospel.
Ask a Pastor also meets twice a month at a Barnes & Noble Cafe. The format is slightly different: I teach for 10-15 minutes on a topic and then lead the group in a discussion. My role is teacher/facilitator and there is more of a Christian teaching feel to the group.
We’ve been happy with the opportunities we’ve had thus far in connecting with those in the community and plan on continuing to use Meetup as we move ahead.
Church Planters: Have any of you used meetup to connect with your community? Or do have some other ways that have worked well?
1 reply on “Meetup.com and Church Planting”
Thanks for this insight. I have a small church planted in McDonough that we are trying to use to reach the people about Christ. I am INTRIGUED on how you have used meetup and I hope to try it out for our church. Any insight on the way forward would be welcome. Thanks