Monthly Archives: July 2013

Are we a friendly enough church?

I recently read a great article by Brian Dodd about the characteristics of highly friendly churches.  Who doesn’t want to be a friendly church right?  I believe that friendliness is one of the great strengths of PSBC.  Churches are limited in many ways that are out of their control, and many of those limitations have to do with finances and facilities, but friendliness is only limited by a church’s commitment to love.

friendly church

Friendliness is something we can control.  This has a great deal to do with the Strengthening Families part of our vision.  God has placed people all around us who we should value, because they are valued by God.  Our own families, our church family, and families in our community.  When someone gets treated in a friendly way, it makes an impression; they feel valued.

Here are several of the characteristics mentioned in the article, and a comment of mine regarding each.

Highly Friendly Churches Leverage Social Media.

This is an area that PSBC has been lacking in, but in recent months we have established a strong presence.  Our PSBC Facebook page has over 300 “likes”, and a weekly average reach of over 5000 people.  They key is frequent posts, and a lot of “likes” and “shares” from our people.  The more those things happen, the more often our posts show up in people’s newsfeed.  So click away!!  We have a weekly video devotion on Youtube that can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and email.  Our website traffic is higher than it ever has been.  If you feel God leading you to contribute in any of these areas, contact me.

Highly Friendly Churches Make Great First Impressions.

Just a few of the keys to PSBC making a strong impression include: consistent hosts at the Welcome Desk, friendly and knowledgeable greeters at every door, and SS class greeters present an early in the classrooms each week.  Our Cookie Crew does a wonderful job of following up each week with first time guests.  Contact me for info on how to get on the Cookie Crew, or to participate in any other first impression efforts.  We probably need a section of our volunteer services grouped together as “First Impression Ministries”. Contact me if you feel led to get in on this.

Highly Friendly Churches Create Comfortable Environments.

Our worship services and Sunday School environments are warm and inviting.  This has a lot to do with physical environment as well as how welcome people feel.  Clean, neat, and well decorated spaces are critical.  We had a big “clean and organize” day recently that helped.  But we still have some dated posters decorating walls, cluttered corners, and furniture that’s in really poor shape.  I’d be glad to re-imagine your space with you if you feel like you want to do something different.

Highly Friendly Churches Passionately Serve Their Local Communities.

PSBC has local missions efforts taking place on a weekly basis, from men, women, youth, and children’s groups.  We MUST have a presence and reputation in this community that has service as a centerpiece.  This fall I have a goal of putting out a ministry catalog that lists all of our church efforts so people will know where they can get involved.  Send me an email with the local ministry you are involved in so it can be sure to make the list. dwalker@mypsbc.org

Highly Friendly Churches Care About Those Attending Their Church.

In some ways, this characteristic is more intangible and hard to measure.  In other ways, it may be the most tangible characteristic on the list.  We care about others attending our church by connecting in Sunday School.  We care about others attending our church by being aware of new people to greet on Sundays, Wednesdays, and at special events.  We care about others attending our church by giving to the ministry.  Valuing people requires action.

Highly Friendly Churches are Multi-Ethnic and Multi-Generational.

This characteristic is impossible to force, or manufacture on our own.  Our responsibility is to love people, love God, and serve in Jesus’ name.  We are a multi-generational church.  We host a vibrant, biblical, Hispanic fellowship each week on our campus that is growing and really blessed by our partnership.  Their presence is a blessing to us as well. We don’t sit around thinking about how to become multi-ethnic, we just love people because God does.   Our job is to stay committed to a Kingdom vision, and let God do His thing!

Highly Friendly Churches Use Humor.

I am so proud and encouraged by the way I see people laughing and enjoying each other all over our campus and at our community events.  They way we love and laugh points to the authenticity of our relationships, including our relationships with Jesus.  This characteristic doesn’t refer to having a comic worship service.  In my view, it refers to the way we laugh together as we enjoy a biblical life of joy in Christian community.

Highly Friendly Churches Have Volunteers Who are Glad to be There.

Do what you do because you feel led to, and want to.  God calls people to do every job in the church.  If something doesn’t inspire you, and you get asked to do it…say no.  You have our permission.  God has probably called someone else to do it, and by trudging through it you might be stealing someone else’s blessing.  It’s OK to say “no” to volunteer jobs that make you feel like you need ibuprofen just thinking about them.  That “no” frees you up to say “yes” to something you will love to do.  Just be sure you say yes to something!

Highly Friendly Churches are Passionate About Getting Better.

The overwhelming sense at PSBC is that we are just getting started.  The best is yet to come.  Every time we partner together for a ministry, service, or event that Worships God, Strengthens Families, and Changes Lives; there is an anticipation of God doing something spectacular.  We need everyone’s ideas, skills, and ingenuity.   God put you here with your unique skills and perspective to make us better.  Where could you apply your genius to make PSBC better?

Highly Friendly Churches Make You Glad You Were There.

We exist as a partnership of believers to be a blessing to God, a blessing to others, and celebrate the life change that comes through Jesus.  Every single week I am glad I joined in.  Aren’t you!!

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Categories: Keeps People Connected, Organized to Serve, Reaches Out to New People, Studies God's Word Together, Sunday School, Uncategorized, Wants to Grow | Leave a comment

Where missions and Sunday School converge.

serve like jesus

Recently, I was a part of a group of 18 people who traveled together from PSBC to Belize on a mission trip.  Many of you probably came and heard our report.  If you missed the report and the highlight video, you can watch it here.  We were privileged to serve, and blessed to see so many wonderful things done for good in the name of Jesus.  As a group leader, I was blessed and encouraged to see how well our team functioned and enjoyed each other’s fellowship as we served.  Allow me to make one observation about small group dynamics and service, as well as make the connection to our work as Sunday School small group leaders.

When our small group gathered to meet and prepare, even to leave for the airport, it was clear that many of us knew each other and were familiar with each other’s names.  Some of us knew each other better than others, but some knew very little about their other teammates. Over the course of the week however, our relationships deepened and our fellowship grew rich.  Our group was multi-generational, and diverse and many other ways, but we had a common mission.  I observed, and experienced an extraordinary “coming together” throughout the week as we served.  The group became united around our experiences and purpose.

Very few things will unite a small group like coming together to serve others.  When you stand side by side with a group member and serve food to the needy, or care for an orphan, something special happens to your relationship.

As we have returned from the mission trip, I have observed the group’s warm interactions with each other in the halls at church, and working together at our Fourth of July family outreach.  I have heard plans for future mission trips with the same team, some local, some not.  I have heard plans for a cookout with the team.  There is a sense of great accomplishment, and optimism.  There is a sense of excitement about what is possible through our partnership.

The call of the Gospel to rescue the perishing and bring hope to the poor and needy is at the core of small group Sunday School life.

The same uniting experience is possible for your Sunday School small group.  The same bonding through a shared mission is possible.  Need exists all around us.  We must ask ourselves if the willingness to roll up our sleeves and serve together exists.

Sunday School is the church organized to serve.  It’s in our vision statement for Sunday School.  It’s one of the core values of our church purpose, to Change Lives through missions and ministry.  It’s in our DNA as new creations in Christ.

Missions and ministry is the essential element of a healthy, united community of faith and discipleship.  That is what we are building in Sunday School.  Find some way to get your small group in action serving the needy in our community.  Just do it.  Through your actions lives will be changed in Christ, and your group will grow deeper together.

If you need help finding a project, just give me a shout.  I have you covered.

Categories: Organized to Serve, Sunday School | Leave a comment

Great fellowship opportunity this Thursday!

ImageEveryone remember this week to invite folks from your class to the Fourth of July church outreach.  Use it as a Sunday School fellowship that is ready made for you.  Invite potential new comers to the church, and make sure everyone on your role gets an invite, especially folks who haven’t been in a while.  It will be a great chance to reconnect.  I hope everyone is doing well, and enjoying your summer!  Remember that there are no Wednesday night activities this week, so there is no leadership meeting.  Thank you for all your hard work, and commitment to God’s Kingdom work through Sunday School!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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