The most effective means of attracting newcomers to any church is a personal invitation from a parishioner. If this makes you nervous about being turned down, know that survey after survey shows that three-quarters of people say they would go to a church if a friend, neighbor, or co-worker invites them. The question is, “Do you have a church home?” And if the answer is no, just say, “St. Swithen’s means so much to me and my family, I would love it if you would visit us sometime.” It is that simple.
In order to make the invitation even easier, Mary Parmer of Invite-Welcome-Connect recommends printing low-cost cards that church members can share with those you want to invite to worship with you. She prefers cards from moo.com as that company permit orders with up to fifty different photos on the set of cards. This means the prospective newcomer will see your church through photos of the building, or even better of worship or another parish event. Mary offers that the many images give a chance for you to fan out several cards with photos and let the person pick the image that appeals to him or her most.
On the backside of the card, offer information about the church including at least the physical location, phone number, web address, and Sunday service times. You may also want to add the web address for your congregation’s Facebook page, if that page is active.
Bless the cards during a Eucharist and invite members to pray about who to invite and then take cards with them. When I served as a parish priest, I had a map with directions and service times on the back of a business card. That one small item often converted a conversation in the community to someone showing up for worship.
We readily share restaurants, movies, and books with friends and co-workers. Why not also share your church with those you love. It is easier than you think.
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary