We spend very little money on advertising. Most visitors are invited by a friend. Our members are our best form of advertising. Inviting ministries also include mug deliveries to visitors, a welcome table in the foyer, and newcomers class.
Other ministries that are inviting are what I would call “low level ports of entry.” A low level port of entry is something that non-churched people are comfortable doing. It is an activity that won't scare them away and in time will build relationships and trust that opens the door to more involvement. Examples of low level ports of entry would include softball, basketball, volleyball, trunk or treat, fitness classes, We Care, and Nifty Fifties. Low level ports of entry are very important if a church is going to win new Christians and nominally Christian persons.
Like most churches, much of what we do is targeted at growing, helping, and serving our own members. Sunday School, youth group, Bible Studies, women's and men's groups . . . while they are open to visitors . . . their main customers are our own members. Groups and ministries in the forming-growing area are excellent arenas for member care. Sunday School classes and other small groups provide great opportunities to make friendships that provide lifelong support.
The goal of inviting and forming-growing ministries is that people are sent out to work in the name of Jesus Christ. Missions work at Woods Chapel takes many forms--feeding the hungry, tutoring needy children, providing Christian guidance, helping rebuild a home. All these are acts of Christian compassion in the name of the Lord. The Christian faith is to be outward focused. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The church is only the church when it exists for others.”
So to sum it all up, what are we trying to accomplish at Woods Chapel? We are trying to win people to Jesus Christ and His church. We are trying to grow them, and we seek to deploy each member in some kind of Christian service.