I have written before about the Season of Invitation. It was an initiative by the Church of England in the North West to encourage people who have not been to church for a long time (ever?) to come and have a look. There was Back to Church Sunday, Harvest, Remembrance and various Christmas and New Year Events.
The idea was that churches should make these events visitor-friendly. Apart from looking out for new faces, people were to think about the actual services. No jargon. Explain what’s going on. What page of the hymn book to go to. Also, these special Sundays were times when a lot of people put a lot of effort into extras. Decorating the Church. Musical items. Drama. These were times you could go to church and not feel embarrassed because you would not be the only visitor or newcomer.
I hope you tried it. I hope you liked it. I hope you gave feedback, whether good or bad. We only improve if we know where we’re going wrong.
So that’s all over for a while? Well, perhaps.
Whether you were invited or not, whether you went or not, perhaps now is a better time to go! I think I would rather see what a church was like on a “normal” Sunday. No extras. No special efforts. What is it like, really?
I think you will find that a lot of churches don’t need any season of invitation. They are always welcoming. They never use jargon. They always make everything clear to everyone. Try it and see. Say I invited you. You might be surprised. In a good way!