Growing churches welcome new people!

*Increase the number of worship visitors.

*Increase the visibility of the congregation in the community (e.g., Web site, paid newspaper and telephone book ads, good outdoor signage, participation in community events).

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*Encourage members to invite others; equip members to invite effectively (e.g. Bring a Friend Sundays, special events).
Identify and make personal and telephone follow-up contact with all visitors, especially first time worship visitors.
Offer a group for new people. (more…)

Originally posted on Missional Field Notes:

check from Flickr via Wylio © 2010 Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Here is a brief, not exhaustive, check list of things to consider:

  • Be sure: Know that this is a God idea not just a good idea.
  • Vision: Seek and clarify a clear vision for the proposed Missional Community. First with the leaders of the group then with the members.
  • Explain: Clearly set out the idea and the vision.
  • Be patient: Not everyone will get it straight away. Don’t rush, take your time.
  • Room for everyone: Allow everyone in the group to contribute to the discussion.
  • Space: Allow space for reflection and prayer. Encourage each member of the group to listen to God and each other.
  • Opportunity to contribute to the vision: Allow everyone in the group to discuss and contribute to the vision. However don’t be sidetracked away from the core vision God has…

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Pastor Chaney:

Can this approach be used to teach the community how to study as well as reflect? I like it and hope that it bears fruit

Originally posted on Missional Field Notes:

Canonical from Flickr via Wylio 2009 brett jordan, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

I have tried to make a little bit of Bible study a part of our fledgeling communities. I’m very intentionally trying to not turn it into just a Bible study and I’m very intentionally making sure that everyone is able to share a bit about what the passage might mean to them. I want it to shape the lives of the members but also let them know they have the ability to interact with the Bible through the Spirit.

Alex Absalom gives some pointers here:

What we are trying to develop is a way of reading the Bible in missional communities that democratizes the process, so that anyone can do it. This requires a confidence in the power of the Bible, by giving it room to breathe and shape thoughts and behaviors within our group without us first micromanaging the…

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By Barbara Brown Taylor

That is what Holy Saturday has taught me about being Christian. Between the great dramas of life, there is almost always a time of empty waiting — with nothing to do and no church service to help — a time when it is necessary to come up with your own words and see how they sound with no other sounds to cover them up. If you are willing to rest in this Sabbath, where you cannot see your hand in front of your face and none of your self-protective labors can do you one bit of good, then you may come as close to the Christ as you will ever get — there in that quiet cave where you wait to see how the Maker of All Life will choose to come to you in the dark.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-brown-taylor/learning-to-wait-in-the-dark_b_5175191.html – to read the entire article

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By Antipas L. Harris / Religion News Service

http://www.ministrymatters.com/reach/entry/5927/racial-reconciliation-demands-christians-reconsider-the-death-penalty

(RNS) A new report by the Equal Justice Initiative documents in horrific detail the nation’s widespread practice of lynching and points to a link between lynching and a practice that persists today: capital punishment.

In the Jim Crow South, lynching declined as officials turned to executions as an alternative method for killing blacks in disproportionate numbers.

This report challenges us to confront our nation’s legacy of racial violence. Sadly, too many Christians were complicit in this violence, which has prompted Christian denominations to apologize and emphasize racial reconciliation.

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#nofear #totaltrust #dontlookback

Luke 23:39-43
39 One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”40 Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? 41 We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentence for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.”

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The difference between the two men being executed with Jesus was simple yet significantly complex. The difference was humility. To the casual observer it looks like there are three convicted criminals with no redeeming qualities. At first glance it appears that there is no need to acknowledge their individual and unique characteristics. If you were to operate with the initial presentation of facts you would miss the significant moment that Jesus shared on the cross.   (more…)

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