This book is written by Thom Rainer entitled “Becoming a Welcoming Church.” As with the last book I will be adding a chapter a day for us to consider. I am in no way saying our church or your church if you are reading this is not welcoming – just something to think about. I am capitalizing the chapter sections.
CHAPTER 6 THE PATH TO BECOMING A WELCOMING CHURCH
A question to begin chapter six with is asked by the author. “Allow me to ask you a rhetorical question. Would you return to a place you did not feel welcome?”
I think that’s a great question. He goes on to say, “Here is the reality: what takes place in the first ten minutes when a first-time guest arrives at you church will largely depend whether he or she returns.”
“Think about, for example, an unbeliever visiting your (our) church. When non-Christians feel welcome, they return. When they return, they have more opportunities to hear the gospel preached and to develop relationships with believers in the church. And those relationships are often used of God to bring people to His Son.”
He says the first step to becoming a welcoming church is to grasp how important ministry truly is.
MAKE THE WELCOMING CHURCH A LEADERSHIP PRIORITY
He says we begin with the Bible. The first priorities are spending time in prayer and the Word of God. Then what? He says there are three “Gs.”
- The first is “going” – the church leader should always be prayerfully leading the church to be obedient tot eh great Commission.
- The second is “groups.” The spiritually healthy church members are typically in small groups, the read the Bible, they volunteer more, they give more.
- The third G is” guests” –
GATHER A TEAM OF PASSIONATE SERVERS
Regardless of the size of your church you need several people to carry on the welcoming ministry well.
CHANGE SOMETHING EVERY QUARTER
Any relationship needs an intentional refresh on occasion. And most ministries do as well.
GIVE THE GUESTS SOMETHING TO REMEMBER THE CHURCH
a gift is an expression of gratitude and a reminder.
UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
Have two or three people in the church do a facility audit and compare notes, see what improvements need to be made. Conduct a guest audit once a year. See what a guest thinks of our church.
Final thoughts from the author:
- Welcoming means going.
- The welcoming church is more of an attitude or disposition.
- A welcoming church is a going church (repeated).