From My Heart, July 2017

“From Friendly to Family” is our theme for the year. Many guests have commented that Willow is an incredibly welcoming church, which is a wonderful attribute. People have also said that they want to develop deeper relationships within the church, but they have found it a challenge.
The Sunday Morning Experience Team (SMET) labored over these matters for two months and they developed some solutions. Though space will not allow me to address all of them, I want to mention a few.
First, we developed the vision and the supporting affirmations as illustrated in the following diagram. One affirmation is outward focused and the other is inward. Both reflect lifestyle choices of growing believers.

Second, we are taking steps in our ABF and YBF ministries to ensure everyone knows each other. We are encouraging for both more time be given within the Bible study hour so members can know each other and intentional events outside of the church setting so members can connect with each other.
Third, the first service will continue its normal greeting time, whereas the second service is encouraged to do their greeting during the five minute countdown prior to the service. The SMET believes the current “meet and greet” in the second service is not long enough and seems too forced for genuine relationship development. We are asking those in Bible study to dismiss their classes by 10:50 AM so people can make their way into the Worship Center and visit with one another.
Fourth, we are striving to have leaders for each of the sections within the Worship Center. Their responsibility would be to connect with those in their section. They would also help guests to find common ground with others in their section.
Fifth, we want to develop an Information Desk in the atrium. It will serve as the main information distribution point on Sundays. The volunteers will provide information and help attendees get involved in “family building” activities, such as small groups, events and ministry opportunities.
“From Friendly to Family” is a long term goal and it is part of our 2020 Vision “to build stronger relationships within Willow.” We know we are to love one another, but practically you spell love, T-I-M-E, so take the time to love your Willow family by building new relationships and strengthening existing ones.
Much love,
Pastor Scott