Be prepared for guests and offer high-quality worship are two of the ways Russellville United Methodist Church has thrived, according to Pastor Royal Speidel at a Sunday afternoon workshop. “Take a look at your building. What shape is it in?” he asked. What kind of improvements – landscaping, new paint, will make the building inviting to newcomers.
No matter the shape of the building, high quality worship is the most important aspect of ministry. “The greatest sin is boring worship. Eliminate the boring so people want to come,” Speidel said. Spend time putting together a worship service that is lively, has good music and a sermon. There is something engaging when you can worship together, sing and pray together, he said.
Even if the church regularly uses a piano or organ, plan to use more special music. “The most popular instruments in America are the guitar and synthesizer,” he said. People should be able to hear their favorite instruments in worship. John and Charles Wesley adapted bar tunes for their hymns. We also should use the instruments people want to hear he said.
As new people begin to attend, encourage them to get into a small group. Discipleship happens in small groups. Track attendance and follow up when someone is missing. He also encouraged his audience to use social media such as Facebook. He sends a midweek email to the congregation. Community outreach and engagement also help to introduce people to the church.