Before You Start
Coordinate with the minister and Membership Committee. Because the goal is to prepare newcomers for membership, planning with relevant leaders is essential. Decide what information to include about your congregation and plan to welcome new members in a congregational worship soon after the program.
Determine the schedule of workshops. Determine dates and times for all workshops and schedule them on the congregational calendar.
Invite guest speakers. Note that every workshop has the possibility of a guest speaker:
- Workshop 1 — The minister primarily responsible for worship
- Workshop 1, Alternate Activity 3 — Music director or choir member to lead music
- Workshop 2, Activity 4 — Someone to tell a story of your congregation
- Workshop 3, Activity 4 — Panel on lifespan faith development. You may also want assistance from your director of religious education or lifespan faith development for other aspects of this workshop.
- Workshop 4, Activity 4 — Panel of social justice activists
- Workshop 5, Activity 4 — Congregation president or a past president
- Workshop 6, Activity 5 — Congregation president, minister, or other officials to welcome new members
- Workshop 6, Alternate Activity 2 — Panel of congregation members to tell their stories of how the congregation has changed their lives.
Together with your co-facilitator(s), identify appropriate people to invite. For panels, Leader Resources provide a sample letter of invitation. Plan to send reminders to invited speakers.
Invite participants. Submit newsletter, website, and worship announcements, prepare flyers, posters, and/or other publicity appropriate to your congregation. Consider personal invitations to guests who have attended worship in recent months; coordinate these invitations with the Membership Committee. Request pre-registration so you can determine needs, including childcare.
Reserve meeting space. Select an inviting room of adequate size to comfortably seat all participants in a circle. A nearby break-out space for small groups would be ideal.
Arrange child care. Arrange for child care as requested.