After consulting with thousands of churches and pastors, LifeWay Christian Resources President and church leadership expert Thom S. Rainer found that most church members perceive their church to be friendly. But as he researched, he found that the guests typically saw church members as unfriendly. The perception chasm existed because the members were indeed friendly to one another, but many of the guests often felt like they crashed a private party.
In his new book, Becoming a Welcoming Church (March 1, 2018, B&H Publishing), Rainer helps churches and their members explore what it takes for their church to become a welcoming church. The bestselling author of I Am A Church Member and Autopsy of a Deceased Church, Rainer presents a practical framework for churches to become more hospitable.
"More than one million people and counting have read I Am a Church Member," said Devin Maddox, B&H Book Publisher. "Our expectation is that Becoming a Welcoming Church and the supporting resources will be a wake-up call for churches to be aware of how they can serve guests and be a part of growing the kingdom."
Designed for church members and leaders to read individually or study together, Becoming a Welcoming Church can be used to assess and audit where churches are on a spectrum between welcoming and not. The companion book We Want You Here is designed as a gift for guests, sending them home with a compelling vision for what pastors want every guest to know after they visit.
B&H is supporting Becoming a Welcoming Church with national advertising and media, bulk purchase options to help churches, and free teaching and study guides for churches to use. For more information, visit http://welcoming.church.
"An outward focus is critical to the overall health of the church," stated Rainer. "It is my prayer that these books move churches to look beyond themselves and into their community to reach and welcome guests as they carry out the Great Commission."
Thom S. Rainer is the President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest Christian resource companies in the world. Also a respected pastor and researcher, he has written more than twenty books and coauthored the No. 1 bestsellers Simple Church and I Am a Church Member. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons, several grandchildren, and live in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit ThomRainer.com to learn more.