CREATING A WELCOMING CHURCH CULTURE
You were created by God to be a vibrant member of a loving Christ-like family—a family of growing disciples in Jesus. Imagine being attracted to a local church where Jesus is clearly seen, heard, and taught. Imagine a family in which you feel valued, encouraged, deeply loved, challenged, and inspired on a continual basis!
The Welcoming Church Seminar
You were created by God to be a vibrant member of a loving Christ-like family—a family of growing disciples in Jesus. Imagine being attracted to a local church where Jesus is clearly seen, heard and taught. Imagine a family in which you feel valued, encouraged, deeply loved, challenged and inspired on a continual basis! This is the culture of the intentional Christ-like welcoming church. It is a culture – a rhythmic pattern of fruitful interaction between church members that arises out of their spiritual union with Jesus Christ, the head of the church. This Christ-like culture is a work of the Holy Spirit who works in amazing and creative ways in every Christian who is fully available to him. In dependence on the Holy Spirit, your church members will also learn how to develop a welcoming culture in their marriages, in families, in small groups, neighborhoods and work places. In “Creating a welcoming Church Culture”, you will learn how to grow in your walk with God, how to draw from the heart of God, how to effectively connect with and support fellow church members and friends all during the week, how to meet and help newcomers and visitors to feel at home and to find space and time in their journey to God without being pressured.
This interactive resource will enable you to be a deeply encouraging welcoming friend and servant of God – blessing and inspiring others in all of your key life relationships. The core strength of this resource lies in its life road map for developing a Christ-like character and a Christ-like attitude! Everyone has a deep need to feel truly welcomed and valued! Every church understands that they cannot attract, keep or inspire meaningful participation from visitors or newcomers unless that is so. But, what many churches do not seem to realize is that their own long time members and attendees must feel at home and welcomed in their own church. There must be praying, loving, supportive relationships between church members and between members and church leaders so that newcomers encounter this atmosphere as they visit. This must be the godly base which makes it possible for newcomers in wanting to stay in your church. It is easy to have a superficial unity and outward success. But, what is the real attitude and mindset of the church body? How would you describe your church now? Jesus said in John 15: 16: “you did not choose me but I chose you, that you would bear fruit that will last.”(NIV). The mission of your church arises directly out of your personal calling from God — to reveal and express the welcoming heart of Jesus to everyone around you. The success of your church depends directly on your continuous availability to God so that Jesus is dynamically present and compassionately welcoming others through you.
You and your fellow Christians are the church. The church is becoming what you are becoming. This is why I am urging you to fully and carefully examine your own personal and home life—asking God to reveal sins and wrong attitudes in you that need to be confessed and removed before your church can become more welcoming. This “Welcoming Church” resource is divided into 4 main parts but you should sub-divide it into more sections and proceed slowly so that you can think about it, discuss it, and practise it with a friend or in a small group. Putting the content in this package into daily practise in your life will help transform the whole culture of your church. In response to John 15:16, your church will bear lasting fruit of Christ-like character and more passionate disciples that impact every area of life.
Part 1: The Struggling Church — Barriers to welcoming newcomers
We start by looking more specifically at the present state of your church — what struggles is it experiencing? How can these struggles affect and diminish the church’s capacity to be sensitive to and more welcoming to newcomers and visitors? Churches struggle because you and I struggle with issues, sins, and addictions in our own lives. So, after examining 5 major struggles or barriers that hinder or prevent a church from fully welcoming others in a Christ-like way, you will be asked to reflect on your own personal life. Remember, your church is impacted by issues and struggles in your life. So, at this point, I will ask you to take time to pray and ask God to help you identify any personal issues, problems, or sins that weaken you and diminish your God-given abilities in contributing to a welcoming culture in your church. Once you are aware of this, please trust God to give you victory over your struggle or sin. Seek the prayerful support of others in your small group and the church leaders. Then, we’ll look at a 10 point tool for helping you determine how well your church welcomes both members and visitors. Before you complete the questionnaire, please read, discuss and reflect on the biblical references identifying God’s requirements for a welcoming church. Knowing God’s requirements for each point in the questionnaire will help you to assess how well your church welcomes people in comparison to what God requires. This will be a tremendous advantage for you and your church in creating that Godly welcoming culture.
Part 2: The Godly Church — God in us, God through us.
Once you get a clear picture of you and your church, what struggles and barriers may prevent your church in attracting and welcoming others, then we’ll look at the key foundation for becoming an intentional Christ-like welcoming church. That is, God living and working in us (Gal. 2:20 and Phil. 2:13) and then working through us (2 Cor. 2:15). It is God who desires to work through us, creating a most vibrant welcoming culture. Understand that as you welcome others around you in full dependence on the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, they will experience God embracing them — as He works through you! How do we put this into practise in daily living? We’ll take a quick tour of the Old and New Testaments to discover God’s heart for people and for newcomers. Discover God’s original plan to welcome non-Israelites in the Old Testament. From the life of Abraham, discover 5 essentials that you can put into practise in your life and in your church that will welcome and motivate existing members and newcomers to stay and serve. In the New Testament, discover 4 key principles that are modeled and taught by Jesus for us to practise inside and outside our church. Then, we’ll look at the life of Barnabas – learning of the character and actions of his life that captured the hearts of newcomers, motivating them to stay and grow as God’s passionate participants in the mission of your church. From the life of Barnabas, I will share 4 characteristics that must be true of every welcoming spiritually fruitful church and member! Please take the time to think about and respond to the question in each section and how you can apply the answers to your life.
Part 3: The Welcoming Church — Creating an inviting culture
Now we will dig deeper into what it means to be an inviting church. There is nothing more discouraging than being in a home or in a church where you feel that they do not care whether you return or not. What everyone needs is a church in which attitude and inter-relationships are so God-infused that you feel like returning without anyone inviting you to return. In this section, we will discover the meaning of welcoming and assimilation, the factors or the “glue” that holds your church together, and the conditions that motivate newcomers to stay in your church. You will discover 6 ways to know when newcomers are really feeling at home in your church. You will see how your progression as a disciple in all of your life relationships is crucial in contributing to an inviting church culture.
Part 4: The Inspiring Church — Producing passionate participants
This concluding section challenges you to visualize your church as more than friendly, welcoming, and inviting — but to see it as God’s family of people who is being transformed in Christ, passionate about following Him and demonstrating Him to those who deeply need Jesus as Saviour and Lord! To help you experience this in your church, I will lead you into an exercise based on I Corinthians 12: 21-27 that you can practice in every worship service and throughout the week. Practice this and your church culture will be transformed into a more deeply welcoming one over a period of time. The worship and fellowship times will be enriching and empowering. Your church will be an exciting place to be! How do we keep this process going?
I will lead you into a 9-step action plan to become a continuously welcoming church culture. This includes acquiring the amazing attitude of Jesus, taking a daily personal inventory, learning to apply the love of Christ in your 5 key life relationships, and special ways in partnering with your fellow church members to engage the hearts of your neighbours. You will learn how being a greeter in your church is for everyone and is much more and much deeper than merely shaking hands with a forced smile. Learn what God teaches about your identity, purpose, and role as a real church member and disciple of Jesus. You’ll learn how to progress into a friend with the attitude, and perspective of the Biblical Barnabas–viewing everyone you meet through the eyes of Jesus, graciously making yourself available for them in their spiritual journey, providing the incubating environment that they need to become all that God designed them to be. No wonder people and churches are discovering how this can lead to transforming their culture and ministry to people of their neighborhood! Realize the possibilities of what God can do through you as a welcoming Christian and your church as an intentional Christ-like welcoming church. Contact Dr. Stewart Brown to have this intensely Biblical and interactive seminar (with its 27-page workbook) in your church, conference or retreat. E-mail: email@example.com or call 902-385-0488
What do you receive when you invite Stewart to teach a seminar
You will find ideas for developing a communications strategy and marketing plan and tips for using both new and traditional ways of reaching your audiences.
Session 1: The Struggling Church
Discover 5 Common barriers that can hinder or prevent your church from making members or visitors in feeling at home
Identify speciﬁc barriers, struggles, and issues in your life so that you can trust God to be a Christ-like welcoming spouse, parent, member, neighbor, and friend in and out of your church.
Take a journey through a 10-point evaluation of welcoming in your church based on God’s Word, not on comparison to other churches
Session 2: The Godly Church
Discover and experience God’s heart for you and for newcomers. Learn of God’s vision for your church and how you can contribute to it with your welcoming heart at home and in your church!
Session 3: The Inviting Church
How to develop the kind of culture and relationships in your church that will make others feel invited.
5 factors that must be real and present in your church!
Session 4: The Inspiring Church
Receive 9 action steps to practice and live out in your personal life—empowering you and your church to inspire people inside and outside your church!
See how this applies to your marriage /friendship circle, family, church, community, and workplace relationships
Brochure and PDF of the various workshops
Encouraging Mentors Encouraging Churches
The Workshop by Dr. Stewart Brown
Welcoming Church Brochure
Stewart’s vision for welcoming
Teamwork Essentials for Lasting Success
The Workshop by Dr. Stewart Brown
Equipping church members for relational evangelism
The Workshop by Dr. Stewart Brown
Mentores que Alientan... Iglesias que Alientan.
Desarrollado y Presentado por el Dr. Ministerios Stewart Brown