So at the end of our Covenant Group* meeting yesterday, we were talking about how we handle visitors at worship on Sunday morning. There are a lot of schools of thought on that. Some say that visitors should be allowed their space--greet them warmly, but don't get too close. On the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that it's important to recognize visitors in a big way--have them stand up, talk to them as much as possible, and visit them at their homes the same day they visit church. The middle way is usually to chat them up some at church and then send a card or note, thanking them for coming to worship.
Abiding Peace started a group of Visitor Care folks, who would take cookies to the homes of visitors after Sunday worship. We did it for a while, but moving out of our building kind of put an end to our Sunday afternoon evangelism, due partly to logistics (the cookies were in the freezer at church and could be baked in the oven at church--we no longer have a freezer or an oven) and partly to the fact that these sorts of programs require a high level of accountability and energy, especially for introverts, which most of us are.
So here's my question: Is the Cookie Mafia (provocative title not meant to convey any disdain) a good idea? What brought you back to church, if you are indeed at a church? Or what would bring you back if you visited a church and might be inclined to return? Would you like a visit from members of the church? The pastor? Or an email? A card? Nothing?
Please drop me a comment if you can. This is really important information for our congregation as we move forward.
*Our Covenant Group is a sextumvirate (Okay, I made up that word--not as racy as it sounds--there are six of us.) of ministers who meet every Tuesday morning at St. Paul School of Theology. The five others in our group are some of the best people I know. We hold one another accountable for being the best we can be at the various aspects of our lives--ministry, family, self care, and humor.