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My tips: Pete Broadbent

03 July 2015

My tips


• Serve decent coffee: no more grotty instant in ancient teapots.


• Get a properly trained welcome team - not a bunch of depressed-looking people who stand at the back poring over the hymn books.


• Have a back-door policy: keep a track of who's new, visit them early, invite them to a welcome lunch. And if they don't stick around, go back to them, and find out why they stopped coming.


• Provide a menu of service options (it's not new: it always used to be 8 o'clock for the individualists, 10.30 for the families, and 6.30 evensong for the depressives!). Consumerism means that we have to give people a plethora of choices, including café church, ambient worship, traditional.


• Get outside your building. Mission is now centrifugal not centripetal. The old "come to church and discover the Mystery" stuff has less traction when people won't darken your door. Do festivals, mass in the park, acts of kindness in the community. Be known.


• Have a decent website, properly maintained. Most people now search online for a church to attend.


• Carpet your church if you can. And get decent chairs. Nobody goes to rough old pubs any more, and they don't want to sit in a draughty building on wooden pews with moth-eaten cushions and kneelers embroidered at the time of the Battle of Waterloo. Unless, of course, you're medieval and historic. In which case, play it up!


• Get rid of the dynasty of people who have run the church for the last 40 years. Persuade them to stand down. Honour their contribution. They stop being part of the solution and become part of the problem when they block everything.


• Plant vigorously. Don't be afraid to try stuff and fail. Plant on estates, in schools (and get the Diocesan Education Department onside), in pubs and cafés. Partner with other churches who can help you with this.


• Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. And pray. Nothing will work unless it's rooted in God and the life of the Spirit.


Rt Revd Pete Broadbent

Bishop of Willesden

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