March 19, 2014

Getting Ready For Our Easter Guests

Thinking about hospitality and evangelism.

At some point, you found your way and were welcomed into your congregation. It is easy to forget, though, what the experience is like to look for a church or be a visitor at a church service. As we make our Lenten journey toward Easter, we invite you to think about evangelism and hospitality, to make visiting your church easier and welcoming to new people or those who haven’t been there for a while.

Do you find these monthly digests helpful? If so, please subscribe to ECF Vital Practices and invite your church colleagues and friends to do so as well. You will receive our midmonth digest in your inbox along with our monthly Vestry Papers publication. Also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation and think about sharing your great resources on Your Turn.

Find a Church
Evangelism also begins with how people can find you. How are people in your community, or visitors from out of town, going to find out about your church? Is your congregation taking full advantage of the free website listings available to it? Nancy Davidge's “Find a Church” shares how congregations can research, plan, and keep these free online directories updated and fresh.

Hospitality Matters: Seeing Our Buildings Anew
What people see – or don’t see – when entering your church can make a lasting impression. In "Hospitality Matters: Seeing Our Buildings Anew," Eliza Linley shares some great ideas, small and large, for sprucing up your church. When reading through the article, take note of some smaller projects for Easter and think about some other ideas to work on later this year. 

Blog Posts

Making Room: How can we help visitors find a place in worship and our Church?

What ARE you saying?: Paying attention to what the experience of visiting a church is like can help avoid confusion for someone visiting your church.

Walking the Stations with my Seven Year Old Son: Making everyone comfortable and engaged in worship includes hospitality for the children among us.

Tools and Resources

Lenten Resources 2014: Trying to remember where you saw that Lenten resource? Check out this list compiled by Kerry Allan of the Diocese of Olympia.

Website Tools: Analytics: Is your website used mostly by parishioners or visitors? Use this free, easy tool to find out what’s working.

ECF's Winter Webinars: Did you miss Vestry Orientation or Basics of Parish Finance? A free archive of previous webinars is available to 24/7. Also, register for upcoming webinars on leading change, annual giving, and more.

Amp Up Your Hospitality

We all know that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but first impressions DO matter and we use them. What would a visitor’s first impression be of your congregation? In “Amp Up Your Hospitality,” Kathy Copas shares practical steps congregations can take to evaluate what being a new person at your congregation would be like and how to improve it.

This Month in Year-Round Stewardship
Adequate planning throughout the year is an important part of annual giving campaigns. Watch a recording of "Addressing Lackluster Stewardship Campaigns" that addresses how and why the stewardship efforts of so many congregations produce lackluster results and be ready for this coming fall.