SIDEBAR: Does the Funnel Approach Work for Existing Churches

Don Ross, pastor of Creekside Church in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, ( and leader of the Turnaround Church Coaching Network (, learned that it does. Using these basic concepts as a foundation, Ross and his leadership team developed a initiative called “Every Conversation Counts.” The Creekside team tied gathering names (networking) to their weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper. As people came to receive Communion, pastors asked them to write down the first names of people they had met the week before. Staff then recorded these names on large sheets of paper hanging on the wall behind the four Communion stations. Church members consistently prayed for the names on the wall. The list grew to over 1,000 names. Ross believes this approach was key to a significant missional turnaround for Creekside Church. He reports, “As a result of this focus of collecting names, hearing stories, and then inviting people to follow Jesus with us, we’ve seen our church grow from 175 to just under 500 in the last 4 years.”