The Milwaukee-Wauwatosa Community of Christ church is sensing a call to be intentional about their mission to be invitational and to reach out to neighbors. They started their year off with a showing of the documentary Barn Raisers, produced by Moline, Illinois Community of Christ church members Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films. The documentary explores the seemingly ubiquitous barns that dot the Midwest countryside and what they say about the people who built them. The Rundles brought the film and all the equipment needed to make this a very professional, high quality experience, while Kevin and Merrie Reed organized a potluck dinner to make it a welcoming, delicious experience!
In light of their invitational focus, members hand distributed about fifty event fliers, which included information about the morning’s worship service and the potluck, placing the fliers at the front doors. While they didn’t knock on any doors, if someone was at the door when they stopped by, they talked with them and told the neighbors they were distributing information about a community event and hoped they would be able to attend. They found this a nonthreatening “baby step” to help them get over some of their fears of being invitational.
The day of the event, a neighborhood couple came to the worship service. Pastor Bill Sigfred talked to the couple after the service. The guests didn’t ask the seemingly difficult questions about doctrine or church history; they asked the simple questions such as, “Why should we attend your church?” They mentioned that although they had seen our sign in front of the church saying, “All Are Welcome,” they came that morning because “they were invited.”
They came because they were invited.
As the congregation continues to seek ways to be a blessing to the neighborhood, and to show people that the church is alive, they are planning to host a neighborhood rummage sale, inviting neighbors to set up tables in their front yard, which happens to be on a busy road in Wauwatosa. And when the time comes, their members are all the more prepared to walk up to their neighbors with a friendly smile, open hands, and an invitation on their lips.
“...they were invited.” Who will you invite?
Questions about the event? Words of encouragement to share? Interested in scheduling your own showing of Barn Raisers? Contact pastor Bill Sigfred (email@example.com)