What Makes a Church Friendly?
Speaking with a retired pastor this week, my friend brought up the subject of friendliness. He is now single after the death of his wife, and said he no longer found the church a friendly place. The married couples did not invite him with them anymore and the Church did not have a singles ministry. He wanted to feel like he belonged but felt more like he was on the outside looking in. Our conversation started with the need for more ministries to singles, but as we conversed, the more I felt we were talking about friendliness, rather than the need for a program. What makes a congregation friendly?
Friendliness starts at home. Do our neighbors see us as friendly? Do we wave, stop to speak, even, invite our neighbors for coffee or a cookout? What do our neighbors say about us? Do they see us as friendly?
Friendliness is perceived from our parking lot. Many churches have even gone to providing “close to the door” parking for guests, or parents with children, as well as to the handicapped so that getting into the building is convenient. When I was in Mio pastoring one church in our community had a gate on its parking lot that was only open on Sunday and Wednesday. It gave the feel of a private club. I know that some our congregations are in tough communities. where gates and fences give a sense of security, but we need to think through what our fences and gates say to the visitor about friendliness.
Friendliness then extends into our buildings. Do we have clear and easy to find signage? It is important that a visitor can find restrooms, nursery, sanctuary or classrooms. Most churches have ushers and greeters that welcome people which is also important to help people feel welcome. Many churches still give people a time during the worship service to shake hands and get acquainted. Such opportunities can feel awkward to the guest as people who know one another say hello to their friends while bypassing the people they do not know. A few churches still have guests stand up and introduce themselves in the worship service. Few things are less friendly than this practice since most guest want to go un-noticed and certainly do not want to speak in front of a group of strangers. Remember public speaking ranks among the greatest fears of an individual. For young families, friendliness is communicated by how safe they feel their children are in your Church. Do you have a checkin for kids who are in your nursery or young children’s ministry? Do you make sure no one gets that child except the parent who checks them in. Are your nursery, and kids 2-5 year old rooms in your church the cleanest of all rooms? Have you done criminal background checks on those who work in your nursery? We must communicate to young families that their children are safe, well cared for, and loved if we want our church to be perceived as friendly.
Friendliness is communicated by what we say to guests. If we early-on say “we need you here,” guests feel like a commodity to be used rather than someone to be loved. Let people find time to feel loved and supported, and then they will be asking how they can serve.
Finally, people ultimately are not looking for a friendly church as much as they are looking for friends. People stay in churches that find ways to connect them with others like them, or with similar interests. It is hard work and critical work if we are going to help introduce them to the One who is the greatest friend of all!
Summer took so long to get here this year. Now August is here which, for me, means summer is ending. After St. Louis camp meeting is was time for school shopping. But wait, let’s not go there yet. Let’s do camp meeting first.
I have been calling each person in the state CWC directory so that I could get the new 2018 and 2019 directory to the printer before camp meeting. Thank you Lord for helping us get it done!
During camp meeting our ladies are planning a theme for a delightful Monday afternoon. All the ladies on the grounds are invited. Come and reminisce.
We will have our Board of Director’s meeting Tuesday and our State Board meeting on Wednesday. Then we will also be having the auction on Wednesday. We always have a fun time and the money will be going to a good cause. You have always brought many good items. We are asking for that help again this year.
Now let’s look to fall and the CWC Fall Retreat. It will be on October 20, 2018 at the Ithaca Church of God. This will be the place you want to be. We have a great speaker, Deb Yats. You will not want to miss this event!
April 26 and 27, 2019 will be the Church of God Women’s Convention at Myrtle Beach.
See you soon!
Blessings, Connie Mashue CWC State President
Training Event with Shawn Lovejoy
Listen to three pastors giving their experience with 3C.
Every August a group of like minded Church of God pastors from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana gather in Lima, Ohio for a one day training event. Part of the purpose of this gathering has been to spark a multiplication movement throughout the region. This will be our fifth annual gathering and we are beginning to see movement. Many pastors in the region are working to become more effective at disciple making as their churches wrestle with the question, how will we multiply?!
I want to personally invite you to this years FREE event in Lima, Ohio. Trust me, you will want to be there and bring some other leader(s) from your church with you!
This years speaker will be Shawn Lovejoy. Shawn planted a church in Atlanta that sparked a multiplication movement. He is now coaching pastors and churches full time through his ministry Courage to Lead. Shawn will be talking about leading yourself, leading an effective team, and building a leadership culture and pipeline.
Shawn will be talking leadership! Here is a quick overview of the topics:
Session 1: Leading Myself To The Next Level Part 1
Session 2: Leading Myself To The Next Level Part 2
Session 3: Leading My Team To The Next Level
Session 4: Building a Leadership Culture and Pipeline
Sounds good, right?! Here are a few more details and a link to registration.
Event date: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 from 10 am – 3 pm
Event Location: Crossroads Church in Lima, Ohio
Tom Planck, HGC Chief Catalyst
September 21-23, 2018
Rev. Dr. Bonita Laudeman, speaker
Bad Girls of the Bible
...And What We Can Learn From Them...
Liz Curtis Higgs the author of this award winning Bible study puts it like this...
For 10 years I studied bunches of biblical role models and finally realized what we had in common: ZIP.
Sarah was so faithful, Esther was so courageous, Mary was so innocent, I was so none of the above.
Then I happened upon Jezebel, and something inside me clicked. I identified with her pushy personality, I understood her need for control, I empathized with her angry outbursts, and I began to wonder... couth those Bad Girls from the past teach us how to be Good Girls in the present? I am here to tell you...YES!
"Bad Girls of the Bible is for all women...from former BAD Girls who need to be reminded we are truly forgiven to Veteran GOOD Girls who long to understand those still searching for answers."
So join us this year as well look at several of these woman and what they can and will teach us about ourselves and great God and Savior that we love.
Discipleship 101 Workshop with Bobby Harrington
September 6, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
13300 Olio Road, Fishers, Indiana 46037
Join Indiana Ministries and Bobby Harrington as we hear Bobby speak on Discipleship 101! This is an intimate opportunity to hear Bobby's clarion call to return to New Testament based disciple making that results in disciples that make disciples.This event is open to all Indiana and surrounding states CHOG ministers. Registration is limited, so be sure to sign up now!
Dr. Bobby Harrington is the co-founder (with Todd Wilson) of and executive director of Discipleship.org, a national ministry that advocates for Jesus’ style of disciple making and hosts a national forum on disciple making. He is the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church. He has trained hundreds of church planters and coaches of church planters and he has authored multiple books on discipleship, including DiscipleShift (with Jim Putman), Dedicated, Discipleship that Fits (with Alex Absalom) and, most recently, The Disciple Maker’s Handbook (with Josh Patrick). -Exponential
Early Bird Registration(until August 6th): $20
Regular Registration: $30
Registration Closes August 30th
Space is limited, register now!
Heritage Church is pleased to announce that they will be hosting the International Fellowship of Chaplains, Chaplaincy Training Course from November 5-9, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This training will allow those who are in need of credentialing as a Chaplain, or those who have a desire to become a Chaplain to apply to the IFOC for licensing and credentailing following the training. The cost of this training is only $300 if pre-registered by September 28, 2018.
The IFOC Chaplaincy Training Course is offered for Emergency Service Personnel, Law Enforcement, Industrial Chaplains, and those who wish to become Chaplains and includes training in:
- Critical Incident Stress
- Grief and Loss
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Human Trafficking
- Spirituality and Trauma
- Worker Burnout
For further information about this training you can contact Dave Mansfield at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the church at (586) 997-9490.
To register for this training you can to the IFOC webpage.
2019 Barbados Mission Work Camp
January 5-15, 2019 - Silver Sands Church of God
Cost: $995 plus airfare ($1,050 after August 1st)
This BMWC will include:
Life together with the Bajan people
Work on the new Silver Sands Church
Worship and fellowship with the church people
Lodging at the Round Rock Apartments by the Sea
Final three nights at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort
Three days of free time on the island
Basking in the warm, breezy, tropical Barbados climate
---Limited to 20 people---
JUST TWO SPOTS LEFT!
**REGISTRATIONS ARE COMING IN**
**Visit our website for more info**
Exponential HGC Pre-Conference 2019
Captivating Church Culture
Small Changes - Big Impact
Exponential 2019 is March 4-7. Registration through HGC is officially open! We are incredibly excited about the content we're bringing to the HGC Pre-Conference starting on the 4th. Be sure to register yourself and your team for Exponential with our discounted price! Click the "Register Now" below to get in on this great deal!
Exponential East Registration ($99) + HGC Pre-Conference ($59) $158.00
Spouse Exponential East Registration ($29) + HGC Pre-Conference ($59) $88.00
Rev. Diane Hall's Ordination - June 10, 2018
Rev. Diane Hall, associate Pastor at Holbrook Ave. Church of God in Flint was ordained on June 10, 2018. Rev. Albert Grant, Senior Pastor at the Church of God of Detroit was speaker and represented the Credentials Ministry of the Church of God in Michigan. Rev. Jerry Lyon, represented the State Office and presented her Ordination Certificate. We welcome Rev. Hall to the fellowship of Ordained ministers in Michigan.
Correction from Rev. Diane Hall:
The speaker for my Ordination was Rev. Ruby Johnson of Destiny Generation Church. I was honored to have her speak at my Ordination because God used her to share the message of salvation to me many years ago and she has been my mentor throughout the years. Rev. Al Grant represented the Credentials Ministry by performing the anointing and prayer.
Part-time Paid Ministry Position
Worship Leader - at The Anchor Church of God
The Anchor Church of God is looking to add a part-time worship leader to our church staff. The ideal person would be strong in their faith and passionate about worship, who loves Jesus and all people.
The Anchor Church of God, 5020 Cleveland Avenue, Stevensville, MI 49127; (269) 428-2264
Free Choir Robes
The Alma First Church of God has choir robes that we are looking to find a new home for. They are very nice robes, cream in color, and each have several different colored stoles. There are approximately 40 robes.
Please contact Angie Armstrong, email@example.com if interested.
2002 Church of God Yearbook Needed
Please contact Sarah Palmer, (616) 481-1920, if you have an extra copy.