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Managing a Spiritualist Center

Church Welcoming New Member Ideas
By:Kathryn Rateliff Barr

To grow, churches need to gain new members. They begin this process by warmly welcoming visitors and inviting them to participate in the service, Sunday school classes and other church events. Once a visitor becomes involved in the church or becomes a member, the church assists the new member to integrate into the church membership.

Prospective Members' Class
For churches that don't invite new members in every Sunday, provide interested individuals with the date of the next new member Sunday. Invite them all to an informal meeting led by church leaders. Educate prospective members on church history, beliefs, mission and opportunities. Answer questions they have and conduct a tour of the church where you provide them with ideas about the activities that take place there.

Take names and contact information for those ready to commit to membership, and invite them to attend on New Members' Sunday. Give each one a membership packet to take home.

New Members' Sunday
Invite those who are joining the church to come to the platform. Introduce each member and give one tidbit of information about himself to the congregation. Present your new members a printed name tag and a membership certificate. Invite the congregation to show their appreciation with applause.

After the service, invite the new members and congregants to meet in the Fellowship Hall for a brief reception and time to get to know one another. Provide finger foods and tea, coffee and water.

Incorporating New Members
Provide all new members with a Spiritual Gifts Inventory. Ask them to complete it and return it to the church office if they are interested in getting involved at a deeper level. Explain that the inventory helps church leadership and volunteer coordinators mesh them into any programs they want to join. Ask them to include the names of any groups they are interested in joining at the end of the inventory.

Once the Spiritual Gifts Inventory has been returned, have your church volunteer coordinator pass on a copy to the leader of any group the new member indicates she wants to join. Have the group leader read the inventory and contact her with the necessary information.

New Members' Gathering
Invite all new members from the past six months to attend a covered dish new members' gathering. Invite the heads of various volunteer groups and church leadership to attend. Have each attendee introduce himself and provide a little information about what brought him to the church and why he joined. Volunteer leaders can also provide information about their groups. Allow all to mingle and fellowship freely.