Thursday, February 07, 2013

Church Checklists: Is Everybody Welcome? Are You Sure?

How welcoming is your church? How welcoming is the building? How good is your publicity? Nice, general, impossible to answer questions, guaranteed to induce guilt and impede action.

Help is at hand. The excellent Everybody Welcome course has a series of checklists, full of specific questions on the quality of publicity, buildings, people and integration/nurture, which are really easy to use. Get a group together from your church, score yourself against each question, and work out what you're going to do about it.

Our Deanery (local group of Anglican churches) is going to start using them, highlighting one a term, asking churches to go away and fill them in, then feed back to the next meeting what they discovered and what they're going to do about it. It'll be interesting to see if building in the accountability works.

We've a recent history of Deanery meetings where we hear speakers on various important topics, but not a great deal happens as a result, so we're trying to gear the meetings up more to resource mission and ministry on the ground. Speaking personally, my goal would be that at every CofE church in the Yeovil area, any visitor will find a high quality of care and welcome, and have a positive experience of the people and the building.

There are even some resources on having your own Mystery Worshipper, including an introduction on how to set up the visit, and a very user-friendly questionnaire for the MW to use. If you'd like to have a go at being a Mystery Worshipper, and live somewhere near Yeovil (but not in it, everyone will know who you are), then please get in touch, would love to see (I think) how our churches came out of it!

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