It takes 200 tries to get a handle on a new skill. I wonder how many tries to become a master?
What do we do at church that could be like that? Consider the gift of hospitality and welcome. Hospitality as a gift for the church is often underrated, because when done well, the complex task of welcome appears gracious and easy.
Let’s take a moment to break down the moment of welcoming a stranger to communities like ours -
To make a genuine connection, a person must be
· familiar enough to recognise a stranger when they see one
· Caring (and brave) enough to approach an unknown person
· Genuine and warm in balance to allow for space and closeness at the same time
· Listen effectively to be able to make connections with that stranger and the church community
· Open to the possibility that they themselves may be changed by the interaction.
Welcoming at church is complex and nuanced, and those who are great at it usually have a gift for it, but also may have had years of practice and trial and error behind them. We sure can feel when its done well!
Explore the role of welcome and hospitality in a (soon to be released!) new Mission 360 module- Opening the Circle. Gather people for a day workshop to recognise the great welcomes we already extend, and explore the unique possibilities for genuine welcoming that exist in your particular place and parish. Share stories of welcome, conduct a welcome audit of your parish, and consider together those who Jesus would welcome to your place. Keep an eye out for news of its release!
To learn more of the 360 Project, visit the FormedFaith website.