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Lasting Impressions: From Visiting To Belonging [Paperback]

By Mark Waltz (Author) & John Ortberg (Foreword by)
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Item description for Lasting Impressions: From Visiting To Belonging by Mark Waltz & John Ortberg...

If Christians were cars, most would be recalled. That's because the vast majority of Christians aren't going anywhere. They aren't taking the next steps in their spiritual journey. They're stalled. This practical guide addresses that dilemma, offering a proven strategy for turning church guests into believers, and believers into committed Christ-followers. The model offered by author Mark Waltz is flexible and adaptable for any congregation.
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Item Specifications...

Studio: Group Publishing
Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2008
Publisher   Group Publishing
ISBN  076443747X  
ISBN13  9780764437472  

Availability  0 units.

More About Mark Waltz & John Ortberg

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mark Waltz is the Pastor of Connections at Granger Community Church, where he and his team of over 450 volunteers create environments to connect people to God and each other. Mark oversees adult relational connections, including groups, guest services, classes, and volunteer strategies. Mark is also the author of Lasting Impressions and How to Wow Your Church Guests. Read more about Mark at his blog:

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Reviews - What do customers think about Lasting Impressions: From Visiting To Belonging?

Firehose of Great Ideas for Helping People Belong  Feb 2, 2010
"Lasting Impressions" is really an excellent and very challenging book about the process of helping people connect and belong. Mark is the Pastor of Connections at Granger Community Church, and earlier wrote a book called "First Impressions: Creating Wow Experiences In Your Church". While the focus of First Impressions is clear (greeters, ushers, welcome desk, encouraging brand new guests to return) I wasn't as sure what to expect from "Lasting Impressions". It turned out to be a whole lot more than a simple follow-up. What I did find was a book that looked at those who did come back and asked the question "Now what?!" It's really about creating a culture of belonging, talking about the need for organic relationships, a good understanding of what you can (and can't) do to help people grow. As a bonus, the book has review questions and exercises to discuss and apply what you learn with your team. Chapters include: People Still Matter; Assimilation: Watch your Language; You Can't Create People; Starbucks, Stories and Space; Be an Environmental Architect; How Full is Your Menu?; What do We Expect?; Develop Relational Road Maps; Construct Volunteer Venues; On-Ramps, Exit Ramps and Mile Markers.

What really impressed me about the book was that it turned upside my thinking on a number of interrelated issues - small groups, how to recruit volunteers, how to encourage membership - and described just how much their thinking has changed in the past decade as the times change. Some takeaway points - meet people where they are at; avoid pushing an agenda or assimilation into a checklist of programs; get over being responsible *for* people, and be responsible *to* them; growth is a transformation process that takes time and caring relationships; be an environmental architect who considers purpose, use and people; simplify and reduce what you offer; encourage next steps that are highly relational; ministry is just as much about relationship as it is about task. There are several insightful chapters on helping people make a difference as volunteers. Personal invitations to serve alongside are still the most effective recruiting tool, but they do not neglect having a limited number of clear on-ramps, such as a Volunteer Expo, All-skate serve events, hosting a volunteer on-ramp online, and a 'Backstage Pass' tour of all that's going on. It's a fire-hose of great ideas, meant to spark thought in your own context rather than provide a model to copy. The book is definitely worth reading and is likely to make a lasting impression of its own.
Great little book with BIG truth  Aug 25, 2009
Mark Waltz's lil book is full of great truths and is an easy read for Pastors or Church leaders looking for ways to make lasting impressions - Kingdom impressions - on those who would seek Christ inside or outside of their congregations. Are you looking to move people from just being casually connected to your church to being full devoted followers of Christ? It's easy to tell Mark has intentionally and intelligently thought through ways to engage individuals and culture for the Kingdom of God. It's not the final word, but "Last Impressions" made an impression on this Pastor and I think you should most definitely check it out.
Practical, Relevant, and Loving  Mar 21, 2009
Mark took a practical approach to this work. Not too much theological jargon, but enough to give weight where it was needed. When he did delve into theology, he was ready with an appropriate illustration.
It is relevant to all church situations. He doesn't give cookie cutter answers, he challenges some of the traditional assumptions. He even pushes us a little bit to look ourselves in the mirror and to question some of our presuppositions.
He was loving in his approach. He wanted to challenge, encourage, and spur his readers onto rethinking how they do church and connect people - he did so in love. He lovingly says, "It's all about relationships..."
Great insight into a visitors view  Jan 21, 2009
Mark has done a great job of turning the tables on those of us that serve within the church and helping us to be mindful on how we are approaching those that are visiting our churches and meeting them right where they are at.

"These people don't want to be assimilated. Initially they may not care about our membership covenants, our small groups, or our Sunday school classes. What they do care about is whether we can help them address the issues right in front of them - the stuff that's affecting their quality of life, their sense of purpose and fulfillment"

It's about the relationships and allowing Christ to work in their lives.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone that desires to help those that cross our path's every Sunday morning so that we can meet them right where they are at!
Not just a book I can read, but a vehicle I can use.  Dec 15, 2008
The book reads like a conversation with Mark. I love that. I felt like I was sitting in the room next to him with a cup of coffee while he transparently shared things he's seen work and bomb in church efforts to connect people. Connections. It's so loaded. It affects everything.

"At Granger there are people serving on our traffic teams who are still fighting overwhelming addictions. There are women in Bible studies who don't know how to love their kids in a healthy manner. There are men in technical arts who aren't convinced Jesus is who he claims to be. Every weekend people who are cheating on their spouse, their taxes or their sales reports return to a service to hear how much they matter to God. They are where they are. We must meet them there."

There is no perfect answer or one plug and play solution for a church to address this reality. But there are great insights that apply to all of us, if we're open to keep watching and learning. To pull, not push. To create space, not invade space.

"We can easily make our approach--our programs, services, classes and groups--more important than the people we want to help. When we do, people feel disrespected, insulted and parented. We are not responsible for people but to them. Being responsible TO our people is quite different. And incredibly freeing."

This book covers everything from small groups, to weekend programming, to volunteer strategies, to web sites and more. I especially appreciated how each chapter ended with questions for my own personal reflection and action steps; for me as an individual and for my team.

This is great stuff.

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