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5 Steps to Creating a More Welcoming Church

  • Ryan Duncan Crosswalk.com Entertainment Editor
5 Steps to Creating a More Welcoming Church

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” - Romans 15:7

What does it mean for a church to be truly welcoming? Nearly all of us have stood up on Sunday mornings and shook hands with the person sitting next to us, but this is largely a formality. Let’s be honest, the hospitality of God compels us to go further than a few polite words exchanged once a week. In fact, churches were designed by God to act as centers of welcome, support, and spiritual formation throughout every culture across the world. With so many Christians struggling to reach others in this politically charged climate, what can pastors do to ensure a positive reception for new members?

Well, here are 5 simple steps to creating a more welcoming church:

(*Image Credit: Thinkstock

1. Invest in the Local Community

1. Invest in the Local Community

Every church should strive to become the beating heart of their community, and reaching out to local organizations is a great way to start. Is there a neighborhood park which needs cleaning? Gather some volunteers and offer to pick up trash! Is there a Senior Center in your area? Why not organize a game night, or maybe just drop by for a visit? Throw a potluck at the homeless shelter, or an art fair for the public school. When a church gives back to its community, it forms new bonds of friendship and shines God’s light all the brighter.

(*Image Credit:volunteers@Rawpixel)

2. Embrace Diversity

2. Embrace Diversity

“Diversity” has become something of a buzzword in conservative circles, but it’s still vital to the health of any church. Pastors should seek to educate their congregants on people of different backgrounds and lifestyles. A wise leader also takes the opportunity to approach individuals of other races for mentoring and accountability. This helps them gain new perspective, and allows pastors to view topics with fresh ideas. Above all, it’s important that minorities have a voice in church discussions. We are all part of the same body, the Body of Christ, and each believer serves a valuable purpose.

(*Image Credit:@Thinkstockdigitalskillet)

3. Remember Singles

3. Remember Singles

Sadly, it’s not uncommon for many churches to neglect their single members. College ministries will occasionally throw a friendly "meet-and-greet" for unmarried students, but what about those who are in their 40’s or 50’s? What about members who are divorced or widowed? Without a strong show of support from their church community, most of these individuals will be left feeling isolated and alone. A good church demonstrates its love for people regardless of their marital status, and reminds singles they still have valuable role to play in Christ’s kingdom.

(*Image Credit:Thinkstock)

4. Worship in Many Ways

4. Worship in Many Ways

Scripture says to make a joyful noise unto the Lord (Psalm 100), but it doesn’t have to be the same noise every Sunday! During your church’s worship, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles of music. Create a traditional service for those who find God in classic hymns, then build another around contemporary songs. If you’re feeling bold, try integrating dramatic skits or dancing into the process. Maybe even take some time for collective prayer. Give new members the opportunity to meet God in ways they never expected.

(*Image Credit:©Thinkstock/DigitalVision)

5. Focus on the Gospel, Not Politics

5. Focus on the Gospel, Not Politics

Politics have become a dangerous idol in the Church today. In some cases, congregations have even allowed their partisan affiliations to get tangled up in their spiritual identities. By segregating people down political lines, we deny ourselves the unity believers are given through Christ. The gospel welcomes all people to the table of God: Republican, Democrat, and Third Party together. We cannot allow ourselves to become seperated by earthly things. When a church stays true to the gospel, diverse ideas can find mutual respect and common ground. Without that, we’re just another angry voice adding to the noise.

(*Image Credit:Upsplash)

*Published 4/2/2018





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