One weeknight after 9/11 I was part of a candlelight walk around the neighbor where the church I attended was located. I will always remember the people who came out of their houses as we journeyed with candles and prayers of peace for our world. Getting out of the building matters.
This summer I am sharing a list of 9 ideas for pastors and laity as we live into Bishop Grant’s challenge to increase worship attendance and professions of faith. Here are earlier posts: #1, #2, #3, #4
Today, I want to build on yesterday’s getting out of the building post with our 5th idea – – Getting Out of the Building, part 2.
Let’s be honest – We are often very building centric. Our buildings are a point of pride, history and community. Buildings matter. But in today’s world just opening the doors will not bring new people in to the building. We need to go outside.
So how do we begin?
- Schedule less meetings in the building– when was the last time your Ad Council or other church committee, met off your campus? What park, coffee shop or off-site location might be fun to meet at?
- Join Meet-up. People often feel they cannot invite people to church because all their friends are already at church. If this is you, you may wonder how do you get more friends. Meet-up, connecting with families in your neighbor or connecting with new people through your kids and grandkids is a great way to make new friends. Connecting with people outside the church will also help you understand why people don’t attend church and what people who don’t attend might want in a church.
- Connect with a local school, Fire or Police Department, retirement home or social services. How can the church help? Can you send volunteers to tutor? Can you provide breakfast for the kids in your community who are home during the summer? Can you co-sponsor a local movie night with the city? What needs can you meet?
- What local events, parades, farmer’s markets and other community events can your church be part of? Get out there and meet some new people. Set up a bubble blowing booth. Give out free water. Play bingo and offer small prizes. Have fun!
Action: Take the above four actions and pick one per quarter to try as a church. Have fun and make the bigger events all-church events. Looking for more ideas? Try these.
Action: Want to offer a worship experience for today’s people? Come to our Messy Church Nation Conference.
What are you doing to get out of the building? Post your ideas on our Facebook page.