Over the last couple of months we have hosted 3 events which were designed to enable people to ask friends ,neighbours and families to church. To make the easy invite if you like.
Firstly we had a curry evening to which over 100 came ,then an afternoon tea which attracted about 70 ,and finally last Sundays brunch which brought in over 130 people.
We will do more of this in the future but I thought it worthwhile to use this blog to give my impression of how things went and see what we did right and any lessons we could learn.
1. People came .I was impressed with the numbers who came to all 3 events .It is true most were from church but there was also a sizeable number who rarely or never come on Sundays and even better many of those people were from our local community.We took a step of faith and it paid off!
2. The food and ambience we created for all 3 occasions was good and this was appreciated and remarked on by those who came
3.People commented on us raising money for others. In this instance water aid and our local hospice
4.There was a great team spirit among those who worked together to make it happen,it was a great bonding exercise!
5.Some great conversations took place which we hope will in time lead to great relationships with others
6.It was fun !Certainly it changed some peoples preconceptions of church. One woman who has been coming to church for years said "that was fantastic Thats what church should be like"!.Everybody seemed to join in Liz Cowburns rendition of the 12 days of Christmas
7 It got us looking outwards to others needs which is vital for our future instead of being obsessed with our own needs
So there certainly is alot to be happy about but as I looked around at all 3 events I also realised we had a lot to learn too
1.While many of our people do ask people some obviously find it very tough to do that.
Somehow we need to train people to make the invites! Is it because so many of us don't know people we could ask? If so how do we change that?
2. People obviously find it difficult to meet new people .Looking round the room it was obvious that some very committed Christians found it a struggle to speak to people they dont know, even people in the church they dont know well! How can we encourage them not to huddle together but to share with others? A big task
3.Prayer I wonder how many of us are intentionally praying for people to come to faith and then inviting them along
All in all though ,really enjoyable ocasions that if anything exceeded my expectations