Rev. Hamilton wraps up Study Sessions at AC16
June 4, 2016 / By Kathleen Rubino
Why do people need Jesus Christ?
Why do people need the Church?
Why do people need our particular church?
According to the Rev. Adam Hamilton, founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., these are three important questions pastors and congregations must ask themselves.
Rev. Hamilton’s final Study Session at the 2016 Annual Conference session included tips for churches on how to prepare for visitors, an emphasis on connecting evangelism and social justice, and advice on how to transition someone from a visitor to a member.
Among tips for preparing for visitors, Rev. Hamilton recommends good signage so people know where to go, a friendly and informational answering machine message, a strong website that gives potential visitors more information, upgrading or repairing facilities to make them a place people want to be, using greeters, evaluating needs in the community and meeting them, and using programs to reach new people.
The Church of the Resurrection implemented their program Building Better Moms to reach out to and connect mothers in the local community. Mothers who attend this program study Bible verses relating to families, pray for each other, and have the opportunity to build friendships.
To bring an individual from a visitor to a member, Rev. Hamitlon recommends hosting coffee time with pastors, for the pastor to visiti the individual in his or her home and invite them to worship as well as present him or her with a notebook or mug, and discovering a potential member’s needs and meeting those needs.
The Church of the Resurrection met one new family’s needs by establishing a ministry for adults and children with disabilities that sets up programs for these individuals during worship, Sunday school, and during the week so that the families can be a part of the church.
And to keep current members involved and increase church attendance, Rev. Hamilton emphasized one word: incentivize. Whether it’s offering a mug to members who attend at least 90 percent of worship services or something as small as a sticker, having a reward system motivates people to come to church.