With careful planning, coffee hour can be where congregants spiritually nourish one another, newcomers feel welcomed, and oldtimers enjoy fellowship.
Does your church have many visitors and guests on Easter? Carolyn Chilton shares 9 ways to show Christian hospitality, including children.
Churches welcome many visitors on Christmas Eve. Here are seven ways to promote your services and make people feel welcome at your church on Christmas Eve.
Plastic sign holders are a flexible and inexpensive way to add welcoming signage to your church. For example, at Christmas and other events.
Room at my Table may seem, at at first glance, like light reading. Indeed, the lively prose and entertaining anecdotes make for quick page turning. But after digesting a few reflections, one finds a volume that is expertly written, and carefully crafted through and through. On a personal note, I was thoroughly impressed with the writing and the spiritual exposition displayed in this inspiring book.
Here at Building Faith we have been fielding various complaints from parishes seeing TOO MANY visitors. We understand how frustrating this can be, and so one of our experts Carolyn Chilton has offered some practical ways to scare these folks off.
Here at Building Faith we believe that welcoming visitors is closely tied to formation. Here's the issue: a welcoming congregation does not just "happen." Churches that are truly effective in welcoming (and integrating) newcomers have been taught and formed in this practice.
One of the most difficult things to do in life is to walk into a church for the very first time. To walk through the doors of an unknown congregation is like leaping out the door of an airplane. There's anxiety, fear, trepidation, and the hope that your parachute will actually open at the appropriate time. Okay, maybe not the parachute, but all the emotions certainly apply.
It's purpose: to restore the role of Lent and Easter in forming the church as a community of disciples, welcoming new disciples, and renewing a sense of God's call to the church in baptism.
Three years ago, some of us wanted to create a space where people would feel free to have conversations about faith while they were at the block party. So we made two big signs that said: Free Coke if you Talk with us about Jesus for Three Minutes. We filled coolers with drinks, set up chairs, prayed, and waited to see what would happen.
Write short profiles of each leader for your church newsletter: Here's a suggested format: Name - birthplace - favorite quote - favorite charity - favorite book - some way the congregation could contribute to the leader's group.
They provide groceries and refreshment of a different kind, spiritual food by the volume, and they are gathering places of community and fellowship where one feels connected to God and humanity and can always find a caring soul to listen.
The idea that, by welcoming a stranger, one might be entertaining angels unaware (Hebrews 13:2) seems to have been a widespread belief. Besides, one never knew when one might need hospitality in return.
We’ve decided to quit being a welcoming church. No kidding. We’re giving it up. It won’t be easy, but we’re committed to it.
In the early Christian church, children were baptized and formed in their faith by the whole Christian community; participating in prayers, listening to sermons and teachings and sharing in meals with the whole community.
There is a challenging child in every group. As Christian educators we learn about Autism, Asperger’s, learning disabilities, and physical disabilities. We do everything in our power to meet children where they are and welcome them into our midst. We know Christ calls us to do so.
Normally Sunday School happens during our main service; leaving parents to worship without the distraction of their children’s presence. They like it that way. And like any congregation the support from non-parenting adults ranges from “Let the children come,” to “I survived sitting silent through church every week why shouldn’t they?”
How does a church convey its values in a short time? A bulletin which lists What we are for, What we are against, and What we value is a good start.
It took me a long time before I realized the Confirmation process, at least in my experience, was such a sham! Every year mothers dragged their 8th graders into the Confirmation class, kicking and screaming. Then, I, as the priest would speak to them about the Church, God, the Bible - stuff of which they had no interest.
Host get together at the church building, park their cars in the parking lot, open up the trunks of their cars, and kids come around to each car to Trunk-or-Treat instead of going house to house to Trick-or-Treat.