During the Pathway to Membership, each potential new member has a chance to sit down and talk with me. I take this opportunity to talk about the privileges and responsibilities of membership and get to know what they are hoping for out of their time at East Shore. By this time, I have read over their visitor form, talked to them during coffee hour, and helped connect them with groups and activities. The most common answer: Community.
I’m so lucky to get to know these visitors and soon-to-be members at East Shore, even virtually getting to talk to them during worship and coffee hour, and through email. This time is inspiring. And often, one thing happens… we end up liking each other!
At this point though, I have to be honest. I tell them they shouldn’t join because they like ME… they should join because they love all of YOU! The Membership Director will come and go (don’t worry, I have no plans to leave any time soon!), but the members are here for the long haul. They are your community and are what you are looking for. This is where the Pathway to Membership has helped. It encourages visitors and members to interact, work together and become friends, without me.
So this is where you all come in. My job is to get visitors in the door and help them navigate East Shore. Think of me as the marketing department. But you… you are sales. Members are the ones who need to “close the deal” and make new people feel welcome in this beloved community. Let people get to know you; I have, and you are wonderful and exactly what so many of these visitors are seeking!
Need more inspiration? Check out General Assembly and “A Radically Inclusive Pathway to Membership” with Janine Gelsinger and Pheobe Dubisch. You will also see yours truly making a guest appearance talking about how East Shore came together to help me create our Pathway to Membership.
by Nicole Duff, Director of Membership Development