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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Crossing the Threshold

A visitor to a Baptism at Rodbourne Cheney Baptist Church asked if she could come to the church again.  During the conversation that followed, she pointed out that it wasn't at all obvious that there was an open invitation to come in. Helpfully, she then compiled the following list of suggestions that might help a church send a message of welcome to its community.
Some of them are obvious, but are they so obvious that they can get overlooked? Thanks to Paul Rhodes for sending this in.

Crossing the threshold of the building takes courage so we need to remove the ‘fear element’ and ensure that people know that they would be very welcome.

It would be helpful to have a noticeboard outside the building which allows fresh notices to be placed on it. There needs to be a very clear statement that: ‘NO INVITATION NEEDED - COME IN’ and the church is the people not the building.

     -    ‘Who’s who’ on a board outside or in the doorway;

     -    Photos on the board of people having fun, including light-hearted ones (e.g. Pastor in ‘David’  costume – ‘David’ is a character who tells the narrative at the midweek Kids Club);

     -    List of activities and who they are for.

The church could hold an open day when we have:

     -    Music                         -    Crafts                              -    Stalls

     -    Face painting               -    Bring-and-Buy                  -    Meet and Greet

     -    T-Shirts for kids with balloons being given out to passing children and their parents.

     -    Ensure Facebook page and Website are completely up-to date with a contemporary blog;

     -    Youtube videos;

     -    Leaflet drop to the local area making it clear that they are welcome to join us (possibly including ‘What is a Baptist Church’ from the talk on 18/8);

     -    Door-to-door survey asking people how they would feel about crossing the threshold.

They would ensure that everyone had a good first welcome and would hopefully introduce them to someone friendly and appropriate.

All of the above is about helping people to cross our threshold but ultimately we need to cross it and mix with the community.

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