Making the most of the Season
Season of Invitation is all about encouraging a culture of invitation and this guide is designed to provide you with some general pointers that can be applied to each one of the 5 Sundays, as well as some more specific suggestions for each invitational moment. Our desire is to share from our experience what we believe works well, at the same time as recognising that you are best-placed to judge what will work in your particular context.
Ways to make people feel welcome
- Name badges for the clergy and welcome team. Also ensure that those involved in leading or contributing in the service introduce themselves to the congregation.
- Clear and helpful instructions from the front – knowing when to stand and when to sit is all part of feeling as though you belong.
- Refreshments – chatting over a cup of tea or coffee is a great way to make people feel at home. Encourage your church members to introduce themselves to anyone that might be visiting for the first time.
- When planning your 5 services, think ‘ordinary with a sparkle’. We should never underestimate the significance of the ‘ordinary’ or ‘familiar’ in enabling invitees to feel as though they belong. At the same time, adding an element of surprise can help challenge people’s pre-conceived ideas about church and faith.
- All-age services are a great way to draw children, young people and adults into the church community and to share the basic truths of the Christian faith.
Developing a Culture of Invitation
The key to unlocking the potential in personal invitation is in equipping those that will be inviting with everything they need:
- Provide your church members with a diary of the Season of Invitation events using the Calendar Card provided in packs – this is a helpful reminder to be continually praying for those we invite.
- Highlight those events that your church is particularly emphasising (i.e. Christmas Starts) and encourage your church members to think about which events would be suitable for whom.
- Ensure that the invitation to each service is ready to be handed out at the previous event.
- When inviting people from the front, as well as individually, work on the basis that they will be coming back soon and adjust your wording accordingly.
- Encourage the ‘invitee’ to become the ‘inviter’. Assume that they will also want to invite their friends to come to church and equip them accordingly.