In this book the author sets out to discover ‘Mainline churches’ in the US that are growing and thriving and to identify what they doing to achieve this. She mourns the loss of the church society in which she grew up – it has just disappeared. After some introductory chapters, she identifies 10 ‘signposts of renewal’ exploring these in separate chapters with examples from the churches she visited.
Tonight we looked at Hospitality. We know it’s hard to enter into unfamiliar buildings, groups and rituals, so we should be very aware of new comers and make a particular effort to be welcoming and putting ourselves in their shoes. Efforts to make children welcome and ease them quickly into peer groups are especially appreciated (by parents and children) and effective in creating a sense of belonging. Allow freedom to be themselves ie don’t pressure to conform, be non-judgemental, eating is a key activity where the division between guest and host can become lost.
Other signposts will be reviewed in subsequent weeks.