Inviting Families to Church
One of the fastest ways to grow your church is to invite families. And it is often the easiest. Episcopalians often aren't comfortable inviting people to church so it is much easier to focus on children and youth. OPEN DOORS is a plan, a process, events and everything you need to help your congregation become inviters. You'll learn how to use the four key entry points to invite families to your church!
Most people know that families, even unchurched families, show up at the start of the school year, Christmas, Easter and for VBS. What we don't know is how to invite those who aren't necessarily looking for a church but who would come if invited. Over 90% of unchurched people who came to church were invited by someone they knew....and almost half of all unchurched people say that they would come to church if someone they knew invited them. So, how do we invite them without being pushy or embarrassing ourselves?
OPEN DOORS is an experiential learning process that's actually fun! Your congregation will enjoy creating events that will build community as well as offer "low threat" ways for people to get to know you a bit before they show up at worship. You'll learn how to build relationships, invite, engage and follow up with those who come to visit. You'll build teams to lead events, train and encourage inviters, pray for the initiative and help incorporate newcomers into the congregation's ongoing life. You can also draw on ideas for how to "go forth" and engage families out in the community.
OPEN DOORS gives you plans for events complete with activites, songs, recipes, liturgies, schedules, training notes and more! While it is focused on families...you'll soon realize that the principles of invitation and incorporation apply to everyone. So this is really just a sneaky way to learn how to invite all people to church -- starting with those what are the easiest to invite, especially since your children and youth are likely to lead the way!
"The Episcopal Church Welcomes You" has been our tagline for ages. It worked well in an era when people are coming in the door and all we have to do is welcome them. Today, we need a new tag line: "The Episcopal Church Invite You!" OPEN DOORS is a way to help your congregation become an inviting church.
VIDEO OVERVIEW available on Vimeo (free registration required to watch it): https://vimeo.com/leaderresources/open-doors.