Regular churchgoers know that attending church should focus more on worship and sharingfaith rather than socializing, but it can lift your spiritual energy when your community is more tightly knit. Church members feel more comfortable attending your congregation when they know they’ll be welcomed and made a part of the larger community.
It improves the worship experience and makes your congregation better able to bring lost sheep into the fold.As an ecclesiastical leader who’s looking to improve fellowship and the camaraderie of your church, you should regard community involvement as one potentially of your most powerful tools.
Use some of the following ideas to bring your congregation closer together.
1. Activate a Mass Notification System
Keeping people on the same page is vital for community awareness. When an event or emergency demands immediate attention, religious organizations once employed the calling tree. Essential news was passed by word of mouth through the grapevine.
But this system wasn’t always accurate, and it didn’t necessarily guarantee that everyone got the message. Now we have technology that makes the challenge of notifying everyone in your parish quick and easy with voice broadcasting or SMS messaging systems.
This marvelous tool makes it easy to notify your entire congregation instantly through pre-set numbers. It’s a popular resource for religious organizations around the world today.
2. Host Regular Events
Community and church eventsusually bringpeople closer together. Here are some popular ideas for activities you can organize with your congregation:
• Street party
• Film screening
• Gardening club
• Swap shop
• Arts and crafts activities
• Organized performances
• Bonfire night
It’s difficult not to create long-term relationships when you play together regularly in these kinds of organized activities.
3. Celebrate the Individual
When someone has a birthday, recognize his or her special day from the pulpit. You might also announce special events in families, such as a wedding or birth. These little acknowledgments make individual and families feel valued, which helps to build a community of connected and caring persons.
4. Use Resources Such as Social Media
If you haven’t already created a Facebook page for your parish, do so now. It’s a great way to make members aware of events and encourage mingling between your parishioners. People can make announcements and plan activities and events outside of their regular worship service.
In a group like this, you’ll want to set ground rules for interactions to keep your parish safe and monitor interactions closely. Put someone in charge of allowing people to enter and deleting people or posts that don’t follow the rules. This will preserve safety and a general feeling of goodwill in your group.
5. Publish a Blog
A blog can be updated as often as you like, with announcements about activities, important events, and dates that may be of interest to your churchgoers. You can also post spiritual messages and host forums to answer commonly asked questions and foster the faith of your religious community.
6. Preach About Fellowship
Speaking about the importance of community from the pulpit can light a fire under your parish to encourage more fellowshipping. You can talk about the many people that Christ ministered to and how he went out of his way to help those in need. Explaining the importance of building your church community through doctrine is a great way to achieve positive results.
7. Set the Example
Do you greet every visitor when he or she comes to church? Do you visit those who are sick or need counsel? Do you attend all church events and mingle with the attendees? If you set the example of showing love and fellowship, your parishionersare more likely to follow suit.
8. Organize Volunteer Committees
Nothing brings a community closer together than service. As your congregation learns to serve their fellow human beings and get beyond themselves, they’ll bond with their service committee and develop a more holistic approach to life. As Jesus taught, service is the best medicine for discord.