Monday, May 23, 2016

On the Net: Tips on How to Make Your Church More Guest-Friendly and a Whole Lot More

Eight Takeaways From My Church Shopping

I am writing this post to provide a fresh set of eyes through which to help you experience a typical visitor’s experience. I aspire to be a Barnabas to pastors and ministry leaders, so please don’t read into this a critical spirit. Read More

“I Was Ignored During My Visit”—Lessons From a Mystery Visit

An unchurched person reports on an unannounced visit to a local church. Could it be yours?An unchurched person reports on an unannounced visit to a local church. Could it be yours? Read More
Among the things in this article that troubled me is that the church she visited charges for coffee and donuts provided after the service. This has become the practice in a number of churches. But is it consistent with the spirit of Christian hospitality to charge for such items? The Journey Church where I am involved in guest ministry provides a light breakfast to guests--granola bars, fruit, bottled water, hot coffee, tea, or chocolate, and a mint--free of charge. We do not even ask for donations.

We adopted this practice because a part of our ministry target group is university students and the university cafeteria does not open until late on Sunday mornings. It is a part of our way of extending a welcome to guests. We offer them not only a smile and a handshake but a hot cup of coffee or a bottle of water and something to eat. We seek to feed their bodies so their unmet physical needs will not interfere with feeding their souls. To my mind charging for coffee and donuts is like charging admission to hear the preacher. It turns a church into a money-making enterprise.

Something to remember is that each guest is a representative of Christ. When we feed a hungry guest, we feed Christ. The Bible also tells us,"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:2)
8 Ways Your Church Can Be More Welcoming to Guests

Having served in the local church the past two decades, one of the first things my wife and I did after our recent move was eagerly hunt for a new church home. To our surprise and disappointment, we’ve experienced a rather lukewarm reception at the churches we’ve visited. But our experience as newcomers has allowed me to see churches from a different perspective. Here are some things that would help make your church more welcoming to visitors like us. Read More

7 Do’s and Don’ts of Welcoming Guests to Your Congregation

I have moved twice in the past two years, both times to a new community where I had few connections. As a result, I have visited a number of congregations in search of a new church home. Based on my experiences, I offer this practical list of do’s and don’ts for welcoming guests to your church. Read More

10 Deadly Church Planting Mistakes

In light of this, new church plants and the established churches who partner with them should be aware of the ten deadly church planting mistakes. These church planting mistakes are common, and are often major contributing factors to a plant failing within three years. Read More
The larger the core group of a church plant--what Scott Ball calls the "launch team"--the better is a good rule of thumb in church planting. The church planting literature, however, points out that how large a core group a church plant needs before launch day depends on the community in which it is planted and the type of church that church plant is envisioned to become. For example, a house church would require a much smaller core group than a more conventional type of church. As the church planter is gathering the core group and developing it, he can expect to experience pressure from some core group members to launch prematurely. The church planter needs to be upfront from the beginning with core group members about what factors will determine the launch date of the church plant. He may also experience pressure from the church or churches sponsoring the church plant. Here it is important that the sponsoring churches clearly understand the church planting strategy that the church planter will be using and the factors that will determine the readiness of the church plant for launch.
5 Themes on Providence from the Psalms

In 1557, John Calvin published his large commentary on the book of Psalms. In the English translation, this commentary runs to five substantial volumes. This commentary reflects a life lived with the Psalter. He loved the psalms: he knew them, studied them, wrote on them, preached them, and sang them. In the course of his commentary on the Psalms, Calvin gave strong expression to various aspects of his doctrine of providence. Five themes about providence recur in his exposition. Read More

7 Actions Which Limit Leadership Success

Do you want to be successful as a leader? Of course, anyone who leads has this as a goal. There are some actions which can limit you. Read More

Ten Differences Between Delegating and Dumpster Leadership

Dumpster leadership stands diametrically opposed to wise delegation. Here are ten differences between delegating and dumping. Read More

5 Signs You’re An Insecure Leader

How do you know whether insecurity occupies some real estate in your life? Read More

10 Ways to Stay Connected with Your Church's High School Graduates

Over the next several weeks, our churches will celebrate with high school seniors as they graduate, and many of those graduates will pack to begin their college career. Regrettably, churches too often lose touch with the students they helped raise when they go away to school. Perhaps these ideas will help your church avoid that tendency.... Read More

Seven Ways Church Outreach Has Changed in 15 Years

“So what are churches doing to reach people today, Thom?” I hear some version of that question on a regular basis. The difficult response is that more churches are doing nothing rather than something. But, to be fair, thousands of churches are doing some type of outreach to their communities and beyond. But the times have definitely changed. Here are seven of the most common changes in church outreach practices over the past one to two decades. Read More

Nine Things That Have Replaced Traditional Outreach in Churches

There is a direct connection between the demise of traditional outreach and the decreasing effectiveness of reaching the respective communities. Spending time in someone’s home was a highly effective connection that usually led to other relational opportunities. But, as noted, this type of outreach is highly problematic in most communities. What’s the solution? Read More
This article I originally posted three years ago. How to effectively reach the community continues to be a challenge for most churches today.
Call yourself a Christian? Start talking about Jesus Christ.

It’s essential to understand that, regardless of our personal comfort level, we are called to share our faith because Christianity is a missionary faith. Despite the change in our culture and the way our faith is regarded, Christians are commanded to tell people about Jesus. In Matthew 4:19, Jesus called fishermen as his first disciples and told them he would make them “fishers of men.” His disciples are still called to be fishers of men. Read More

Why I’m No Longer a United Methodist

At age 15 I experienced the prototypical warm-hearted Methodist conversion during a youth retreat. Yet in retrospect this moment ironically marked the beginning of the end of my United Methodism. Read More

No comments: