Here are some great ways to strengthen your Reaching New People team and take advantage of the additional equipping that will take place at the upcoming face to face Reaching New People tune up day. On that day we’ll refresh the things we learned at the original workshop, help new people on your team get oriented, celebrate some victories, coach one another through some challenges and renew our action plan.
The most important thing you can do is make strengthening your Reaching New People team a matter of prayer. Pray for God to show you the people in your church that the Holy Spirit is raising up as people with the gift of invitation and hospitality. Then sit down with the people that God directs you to and ask them to consider using their gifts on your team.
“I see in you this beautiful gift of hospitality. I think you would be really blessed to be a part of our Reaching New People Team. Would you consider giving it a try by coming to our upcoming workshop?”
We have discovered that new members to the church are often the most enthusiastic people in the church. They still remember what it was like to come into the church – and the invitation that first brought them. They also are much more likely to still have friends, relatives, acquaintances and neighbors who are not involved in the church.
Often they want to invite people to church but need a little encouragement or equipping. So bringing new members to the tune up date can be quite powerful.
When you interview your new members, you may also discover people in your church who are already practicing the spiritual disciplines of invitation and hospitality. Simply asking the question “Who were influential in your decision to come to our church and to become active here?” can reveal people who may be hiding their invitational practices in plain sight. Invite those people to join your Reaching New People Team and bring them to the Tune Up Day Workshop.
Don’t hesitate to ask someone who is brand new to the church to join your Reaching New People Team. It might be just the encouragement they are looking for.
Don’t overlook children and youth. Pastor Haley Dos Santos found that her Confirmation Class were great Reaching New People team members. They fearlessly became acquainted with people in the restaurants and public places where they held their meetings.
Another group of people to consider inviting to be a part of the Reaching New People team are church members who participated in a member-guest activity. Once they’ve been a supporter, it is a short step to creating their own member-guest activity and expanding the number of invitational opportunities that your church is offering.
As your pastor and team members are reintroducing your church to the community, you’re also likely to discover that God raises up ambassadors for you in your mission field. When the waitress at the restaurant that hosts your church meeting overhears a family with children wondering what to do with them when school is out, she may be the ambassador who says “The First United Methodist Church has their children’s ministry meetings here. They seem to have a great, active children’s ministry. You should check them out.”