I asked them to start by introducing themselves and saying what they liked so much about that congregation. Then, we discussed what a typical Sunday morning is like and what the rest of the week looks like. We then talked about two groups of people: Visitors and Members. My question was: If you divide the week into Sunday morning and "not Sunday morning," what messages do you want to deliver to these people?
We came up with some good ideas:
Members on Sunday morning
enjoy time with your friends here
be welcoming to visitors
recharge here so you can serve during the week
Visitors on Sunday morning
You are welcome here
We are warm people
There are people like you here
Members during the week
Find opportunities to serve
Bring friends on Sunday
Find opportunities to learn
Visitors during the week
Check us out
For each of these points, we came up with some ideas for tactics: email newsletter (members during the week), better website (visitors), using the video screen before worship to promote prayer and spiritual focus (for everybody on Sunday), quarterly mailing to focus on the next season of events (everybody). The group was receptive, and there was no need to have the print vs. new media scuffle that always seems to come up. Instead, we focused on what messages we wanted to deliver and how we might do them.
These house calls are quickly becoming my favorite part of my work – consulting with organizations who are doing good work and trying to reach more and more people.