Friday, March 09, 2012
Dear Churches Seeking New Members ... (words to consider!!)
Today on Facebook a friend posted a link to an 'Open Letter to Churches Seeking New Members'.
The posting is found here (See Lyda Run), and is worth checking out.
It is a powerful and very blunt reminder that Churches can and should be doing a better job at welcoming and including new folks.
Among the sage counsel offered Lyda, the Blogger, notes that comfort and inclusion rank VERY VERY high on what Church 'Shoppers' are looking for. Her insightful note echoes the research of folks like Bibby, Turner, and others who have looked critically at Churches and how they successfully welcome in new people or turn them away ... 99% of success rests on being warm and welcoming without being smothering or embarassing. The ability to find the balance is challenging, but necessary.
I think this letter is worth sharing widely within the Church because it dares to utter a truth that we may otherwise avoid because of the discomfort it causes.
Honesty, openess, and providing AS MUCH INFORMATION as possible is vital. Acknowledging and welcoming the people without embarassing or scaring them is equally important. If the Church is to live its mandate to welcome those who happen our way, keeping this article handy and referring to it once in awhile wouldn't be a bad idea.
At the end of the day, it's about living our faith and inviting others to share in the journey !!