Take the Readiness Test

 

Are you ready to host visitors to your congregation who are drawn by the liveforpeace.org campaign? Will your church provide a warm welcome? Are you prepared for a conversation about peacemaking? Might your congregation be challenged and changed by such an encounter?

Henri Nouwen once wrote: “Hospitality means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.”

Take the readiness quiz to test whether you’ve got the various angles covered!

Please rank your answers on a continuum between 1 – 5.

1. Our congregation anticipates visitors at our door on Sunday mornings – and thanks God for the ministry of hospitality.


- Many are glad that someone else is a designated greeter

- We regularly, intentionally, and warmly welcome, plan for, and pray for visitors at our congregation

2. Our location is well advertised and well marked. - We offer few clues as to where we’re located and don’t generally advertise ourselves

- Our phone greeting is joyful, warm and inviting, and always up to date with Sunday morning service times.

- Our congregation’s website, answering machine, yellow page/newspaper information and outdoor signage make it easy to find our church.

3. Our web site:
- Website? What's a "Website"?

- Uses a lot of acronyms and insider language that only members would understand

- Is attractive, updated weekly, invites and is aimed at newcomers first and members second, uses a map to identify our location

4. We make sure no one has difficulty parking.
- Parking at our church is admittedly “an issue.”

- Vehicle parking is easy to find.

- We have designated visitor parking, bicycle racks and parking attendants (on special occasions).  Car pooling is also arranged.

5. Entrances to the church are clearly marked and attractive.
- The side door is preferred - if you can find it

- We think our entrances are obvious to anyone

- There’s no mistaking the entrance (accessible, well lit, well located, well signed)

6. All visitors receive a warm greeting at the door.
- We don’t have designated greeters

- Our greeters smile and shake hands

- Greeters know to expect visitors from the www.liveforpeace.com campaign or elsewhere.

7. The www.liveforpeace.com posters are prominently displayed in or on our church building.
- There’s no visual indication that we’re a part of this campaign

- The poster is around the corner in the hall or on the pastor’s office door

- It’s right at the entrance, is posted in several places around the building, and noted in the bulletin– you can’t miss it.

8. Designated people are equipped to engage a conversation on peacemaking with visitors.
- We haven’t given this any thought

- We expect all members to know our “peace message”

- We have identified key people who are willing to engage visitors with a “peacemaking conversation”

9. Our Sunday morning bulletin:
- Uses a lot of acronyms, code, and insider language that only members would understand

- Acknowledges worship participants (speakers, song leaders, etc.) by name so visitors can connect names and faces

- Expresses gratitude for visitors and invites them to linger after the service and meet people

10. Specific “peace practices” are incorporated into our worship experience (peace candle, prayers, hymn/song texts, highlighted announcements) – and are especially obvious during our live for peace campaign. - Peace is rarely a topic of worship, and seldom woven into our worship

- We celebrate Peace Sunday once a year and that’s enough

- We express and articulate our peace theology through many worship practices

11. Members give their names during announcements or sharing times and are conscious of avoiding “insider language.”
- We know what our acronyms mean, often use expressions in an unfamiliar language, colloquialisms

- We expect people to know each other (eg. “for more information, talk to Irene”)

- We’re conscientious with our use of language, titles and names and take care to use the full name rather than the acronym

12. During our offering time:
- Language used is focused on “taking” the offering rather than “receiving” the offering and makes people feel guilty if they don’t contribute

- Language expresses joy and gratitude that we can give back to God a portion of what we have been given

- Language explains that visitors are welcome but not expected to give

13. The language used in worship is understood by all who are present.
- Our children are content to read a favourite book rather than be engaged.  We also expect newcomers will ask questions if they feel confused

- We give an order of worship to every participant, including a child-friendly bulletin to our children

- We’re conscious of our theological terminology, biblical allusions and “church” references.

14. Our congregation welcomes all persons.
- Songs include music that is accessible to children and other untrained voices

- Intergenerational activities mark a lot of the events in our congregational life.

- All rooms and floors of our building are clearly identified and wheelchair accessible

15. We have designated greeters following the service when there’s often time for extended conversation.
- Everyone tends to leave quickly after the service so we can lock up the building

- The occasional noon potluck draws a crowd

- Regular fellowship times provide opportunities for members and visitors to interact

16. Our church has attractive, current brochures and other information – with a special focus on our denomination and its strongly biblically based beliefs and values of nonviolent peace building.


- Our literature rack and bulletin board is updated once a year and contains material relevant to who we are

- We have current materials to pass along to interested visitors and know where to point people who seek more information (eg. Your church library, www.mennonitechurch.ca/resourcecentre

17. Visitors are intentionally invited back. - We have no way of knowing who was at church on Sunday morning

- We have a guest book at the back and visitor cards in the pews

- We have a follow-up system in place to extend hospitality beyond Sunday morning (eg. take fresh bread or other expressions of welcome to the homes of visitors).

Attention: All test results are anonymous. We do not track sources in any way.