The Church exists not only for those in it, and but also for those who are yet to be a part. Our primary mission is reaching people beyond our walls. This calls for the involvement of everyone in every community of believers everywhere. We all have a part to play. It takes many different approaches to share our faith with others. Building relationships and having open conversations about faith is one way. Another could be inviting someone to church. Some find this one the easiest.
Inviting and Bringing
Christmas and Easter are two times some people feel comfortable inviting others to church. In fact, some people only make it to church these two times of the year, if there isn’t a wedding that year. On Easter, Christmas, even ‘ordinary’ Sundays there are always people unfamiliar with church. People exploring faith.
Encourage parishioners to do more than invite but bring others to church [Tweet This].
While it is important to be mindful of those exploring faith. We should be mindful of them in how we talk. Our language needs to be inclusive and preaching accessible. These are some of the areas we seem to put extra effort in around Easter and Christmas, and this is good. But it is sad that radical hospitality is then put back in a box to for unveiling at the next Easter or Christmas.
A warm and welcoming church should be a mark of every community of believers. When it is normal, it is genuine. Some guests visiting churches this Easter might return. Wouldn’t it be sad if they came back to a cold, uninviting church? And the reason: hospitality and thoughtfulness reserved only for Easter and Christmas.
If we’re hospitable all year round, it is less effort to be who we already are at times like Easter and Chrismas [Tweet This].
I’m not saying don’t put in extra effort to cater to everyone during Easter. I’m saying great hospitality is something that should never be lacking in any church. I’m suggesting a consistency that won’t cause returning guests to doubt our authenticity. What if every church, in preparation for Easter, asked, “How can we be more ourselves?” because they were welcoming already. Not because they’re trying to summon a way of being they don’t have all year round.
What if the most critical Sunday of every church this year is not Easter but the Sunday(s) after when guests return? We must prepare to also engage visitors after they visit our church, on their terms.
Share whatever tips, ideas, or experience you feel can help. How can we create warm, welcoming environments all year round? What do you think helps guests feel welcome? What is great hospitality like?