Everybody Welcome

Everybody is very welcome
To the
This is a taster session
• To introduce you to the ideas and
• To see what we can learn from each other
• To help you work out whether your church
could usefully use the course
What motivated us to
prepare this course?
1. The theology – the hospitality & welcome
of God and the natural growth of the
2. The horror stories - and the experience of
being ignored
3. The potential of better welcome &
integration to grow the church. B2CS.
Ephesians ch 2v11-22
• In Christ Jesus you who were once far
away have been brought near through the
blood of Christ
• You are no longer foreigners and aliens
but fellow-citizens with God’s people &
members of God’s household
• You are being built together to become a
dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit
There are lots of ways of
being unfriendly and
How easy is it to join your
‘Oh..nobody wears a hat in this church’
‘For the first two years only the clergy spoke
to us’
‘We only serve refreshments to the regulars
– the others shake hands with the vicar on
the way out’
‘Not another bloody newcomer’
‘Oh my God it’s the Bishop’
The worst sort of church is…
The friendly church!
A Mystery Worshipper
• The service was not guided and I was
unsure what to do and when. The
churchmanship was rigid and the
atmosphere was formal with little
enthusiasm. The singing was quiet, dull
and restrained. The sermon was easy to
understand and a comfortable length (5
minutes) but the relevance of it was not
A Mystery Worshipper
• made clear. After the service a group of
people appeared to dominate conversation
with the vicar and even though I remained
nearby for several minutes no one spoke
to me. Members of the congregation sat
together but did not appear to engage with
one another. I felt excluded and
Some significant findings
• 90% of people who try out a church in this
country fail to join it
• 3m people say they might well like to go to
church if only somebody would invite them
• 4m people say they would quite like to do
an Alpha course if they were invited
• God is stirring and sending the people
• Our job is to welcome & integrate them
The Course
• For every church member – it only takes
one to spoil a welcome
• Four sessions – Discover – Experience
the plant – Experience the people –
• Plus an extra session to start training the
Welcome Team
• Welcome is a long term business over
months and years
Course Content
• There is a members’ manual and some
pre-reading for each session
• Some course material is delivered by DVD
• There are also exercises to do, such as
• And a series of checklists to fill out and put
together to identify strengths, weaknesses,
and priorities for action
Three outcomes from the course
• Everybody becomes a better Welcomer
• The checklists identify priorities for change
• A ‘Welcome Team’ is set up
Discovering a church
• How many contacts do you have?
• A church at the heart of its community
How welcoming are the building?
• Seeing our buildings through a stranger’s
• Scoring your own church
The Checklist System
• You have a checklist on which to record
your own view of how well your church
scores on each aspect of the welcome
• When your sheet is combined with the
others from your church you get an overall
score and can see where you differ from
each other
The Checklist System
• When you have been through all 17
checklists you can identify the particular
strengths and weaknesses of your church
• This will enable you to develop your
strengths and pay attention to your
• But it will only work if you are brutally
honest about your church!!!!!!