Welcome and Invitation

The welcome that Christians offer visitors to church can have a huge impact on whether or not they choose to stay. Indeed, research suggests that a lack of welcome is a key reason why visitors don't return to church.

Welcome and invitation are also clear gospel values. God welcomes the outsider (1 Cor 1:26-31), seeks the lost (Luke 15), and invites all into the community of the kingdom (1 Tim 2:4). Methodist theology particularly stresses the depth and breadth of God's welcome, teaching that no-one is beyond the reach of God's love.

First Impressions Count

First Impressions Count is a freely downloadable workshop designed to help churches reflect on the welcome that a visitor experiences when they first walk into a church. Designed for a 2 ½ hour training session, the workshop is divided into three sessions: creating a welcoming building, being a welcoming people, and welcoming through inclusion.

To lead a First Impressions Count workshop, open the User's Guide and follow the instructions to download the material. 

Users' guide

Facilitator's guide

Participants' sheets

PowerPoint presentation

 

To download the below videos, right click or cmd and click if using a Mac, on where it says download and select Save Target As... 

Download mp4 video file for showing where there is no internet connection (NB Large file 172 MB)

 

Church Experience 

Download mp4 video file

Church attraction

Download mp4 video file

Church advice

Download mp4 video file

 

What's Your Welcome?

The welcome that Christians offer visitors to church can have a huge impact on whether or not they choose to stay. Indeed, research suggests that a lack of welcome is a key reason why visitors don't return to church. 'I was a stranger, and you welcomed me...'
(Matt 25:35b) 

Welcome and invitation are also clear gospel values. God welcomes the outsider (1 Cor 1:26-31), seeks the lost (Luke 15), and invites all into the community of the kingdom (1 Tim 2:4). Methodist theology particularly stresses the depth and breadth of God's welcome, teaching that no-one is beyond the reach of God's love.

Ten questions to help your church become more welcoming (Pdf)
Ed Mackenzie offers a range of thoughts and practical suggestions.

 

First Impressions Count and What's Your Welcome? could also form part of the preparation for Back to Church Sunday (now one element of A Season of Invitation) or The Big Welcome, national initiatives that encourage Christians to invite friends, colleagues and neighbours along to church. For further information on both initiatives - and to decide which would best suit your context - click the links below.

A Season of Invitation logo

The Big Welcome logo

We hope you find creative uses for What's Your Welcome? and would welcome any comments or feedback at esdadmin@methodistchurch.org.uk. Please do get in touch for other ideas on how to make your church more welcoming. 

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