Invite*Welcome*Connect – Now What?
Many congregations participated in the learning of Invite*Welcome*Connect, led by ministry founder and director, Mary Parmer, the first weekend of March. We generated a plethora of ideas and ideas for our congregations on how to invite people into our midst, how to greet them with hospitality once they are present, and how to engage them in the ministries and programs of our congregations. Then, we came home.
At St. Andrew’s we have held an organizational meeting on Palm Sunday lead by Sharon Kryger (firstname.lastname@example.org), chair of IWC for our congregation. The group watched a video from Mary Parmer to remind us of the purpose of this ministry, and to acquaint those who could not be with us for the learning. Following the video, the group broke into three teams – INVITE, WELCOME, CONNECT. Each team identified short term goals, some with deadlines. And each team has a convener who will call the next meeting.
So, now what?
Below are a few suggestions you might want to consider for your “next steps.”
- Invite as many people as you can to be involved with IWC. We used small notebooks for folks to sign up. It’s a good chance practicing the invite part of our ministry.
- Get together for a “pep rally.” The videos and resources on the IWC site are open source. Use them liberally! invitewelcomeconnect.com. The overview video can be found here: (http://www.invitewelcomeconnect.com/menu-1-3/). Show this to your teams. Get them excited.
- Break into small groups by interest area – INVITE, WELCOME, CONNECT. No fewer than 2 -3 in a group. Remember, Jesus sent the disciples 2 by 2 into the world. This is NOT a solo ministry! This is the “agenda” we used for our first meeting at St. Andrew’s:
- Add to Ideas
- Prioritize Ideas
- Identify the low Hanging fruit
- First steps
- Longer term Projects
- Down the road…
- Complete charts
- Look at the ideas that were generated at the seminar. If you didn’t attend, please refer to the resources on the IWC site – there are checklists and TONS of ideas. What are you already doing? What can you implement easily? Where is the low-hanging fruit for your congregation?
- Give yourself one or two things that you can accomplish between Easter and Pentecost. Assign someone to be the lead for the initiative(s) and a team to help implement. Identify something doable – don’t go for a complete system overhaul right now!
- Do it!
I know Bishop Barker would like to hear what successes you have in your congregations as a result of your work with IWC. Mary would definitely like to hear your stories! If you have a story to share, please consider putting it on video (your camera phone is fine!) and sending it to me. I will forward it to Mary.
Blessings in your work. Please let us know what you need to keep the momentum high.
The Rev. Diane M Pike email@example.com 402-391-1950
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Omaha