How can we encourage an invitational culture in our churches?
- How many people 'try out' your church each year?
- Do they feel welcome?
- Do they come back?
What would happen if 10%, 25% or even 50% of your visitors became regular members of your congregation?
Here are four resources and ideas to help your church become more welcoming and invitational.
Have you considered using the Soul Food cards at Baptism, Weddings and Funeral services?
Soul Food cards are small cards to place in pews during life event services. A guest can collect the card and sign-up to recieve bite-sized messages which make connections with some of the themes of the service they have just attended. The messages are sent by email or text for seven days, with an invitation to then recieve more.
Find out more by watching SoulFood's video below or visiting their website:
soulfood.me | Webpage
2. A Season of Invitation
A Season of Invitation began as ‘Back to Church Sunday’ in 2004, which was an annual opportunity for churches across the UK and abroad to invite people to come with them to church.
Ten years on, there are five suggested invitational service to invite people to:
- Back to Church Sunday (September)
- Harvest (October)
- Remembrance (November)
- Christmas Starts (early December)
- Christmas (December)
This simple idea is a way of cultivating an invitational culture in your church and also helps to shape services with visitors in mind. Making changes for one special service may beg the question why don’t we do that all the time?!
Watch the video below to find out more. For local information contact Rich Henderson or visit Season of Invitation's website for resources and ideas:
seasonofinvitation.co.uk | Webpage
3. Everybody Welcome course
A church's welcome is communicated by everyone! Everybody Welcome is a five-session course to transform your church by improving your approach to newcomers. It will help you review your attitudes to newcomers, learn new approaches and identify areas of improvement and change.
The course can help to
- make your church more visible
- make the premises more inviting
- consider the accessibility of the services
- be aware of different age ranges
- provide tips for welcome and encouraging belonging
- offers training for a welcome team and sidespersons
The course is available to purchase here:
4. 'Mystery Worshippers'
Many people are familiar with the idea of a ‘mystery shopper’. It is a way of checking that shops are doing all they ought for the customer. The ‘mystery worshipper’ idea applies that same concept to churches.
You can read existing ‘mystery worshipper’ reports to help you see your church through the eyes of a visitor by visiting:
shipoffools.com/mystery | Webpage
Alternatively, organise for a 'mystery worshipper' to visit your church by following these resources from Everybody Welcome:
'Mystery Worshipper' photo by Andreas Breitling.