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Congregational Life: Leaders & Outreach: Outreach & Hospitality

tools for empowering leadership, developing joyful, informed volunteers and supporting effective teams which strengthen outreach and hospitality


Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to help congregational leaders develop exuberant outreach and warm hospitality. Here you'll find:

  • Tips & How-To's for Online Outreach
  • Blogs, Podcasts & Articles - to inspire and empower members
  • Webinars & Videos - to develop skills
  • Other Tips & Ideas - from a variety of sources

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Books & Downloads

     Ask Me for a Blessing (You Know You Need One)     Becoming a Welcoming Church book cover          Beyond Welcome     Boomerang / Bumerán     BUILDING LASTING BRIDGES     Building Up a New World | Congregational Organizing for Transformative Impact          CHURCH ON THE MOVE          Picture of The Connected Life     Cover Image     Dawn of Sunday     Dementia and the Church: Memory, Care, and Inclusion     Did That Just Happen?!     Picture of Digital Ministry and Leadership in Today's Church     Disability and the Church     The Economic Case for LGBT Equality     Flip It Like This!     SocialBook_Mockup.png          John Pavlovitz; Pavlovitz; palvovitz; plavlovitz; jon Pavlovitz; john Pavlovitz book; Pavlovitz book; john Pavlovitz books; Pavlovitz books; new Pavlovitz; new john Pavlovitz; new Pavlovitz book; new Pavlovitz books; new john Pavlovitz book; new john Pavlovitz books; stuff that needs to be said; stuff that needs to be said blog; stuff that needs to be said book; spiritual none; spiritual nones; religious none; religious nones; if god is love; If god is love book; if god is love Pavlovitz; if god is love john Pavlovitz; if god is love Pavlovitz book; if god is love john Pavlovitz book; if god is love don’t be a jerk; if god is love, don’t be a jerk; if god is love dont be a jerk; if god is love, don’t be a jerk; finding faith that makes us better; finding a faith that makes us better humans; Christian living book; Christian living books; progressive Christian; progressive Christians; progressive Christianity; progressive Christian book; progressive Christianity book; progressive Christianity books; the church of not being horrible; how to be a better Christian; being a better Christian; Christian left; the Christian left; progressive Christian author, progressive Christian authors; john Pavlovitz twitter; john Pavlovitz facebook; Pavlovitz twitter; john Pavlovitz facebook; john Pavlovitz trump; john Pavlovitz Wikipedia; who is john Pavlovitz; john Pavlovitz author; john Pavlovitz blog; john Pavlovitz quotes;; john Pavlovitz bio; pastor john Pavlovitz youtube; liberal christian; liberal christianity; liberal christian book; liberal christianiy books; progressive religion; progressive religion books; F2021     In Defense of Kindness: Why It Matters, How It Changes Our Lives, and How It Can Save the World     Indispensable Church - Lifeway           Picture of The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships    Mistakes and Miracles          The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going     One Coin Found: How God's Love Stretches to the Margins          Troubling the Water: The Urgent Work of Radical Belonging     True Inclusion     Undercover Prophets     Book - Paperback     Welcoming the Unwelcome     When We Belong     

All Are Neighbors     My Name     Cover of They’re So Flamboyant

Webinars, Training, & Studies

CONVERGENCE offers numerous leadership and community development webinars on-demand or in a cohort:

How to Do Hybrid Church: Ministry at the Overlap of In-Person and Online



The Great Spiritual Migration: Online Book Study




Radical Welcome: Help Your Church Fully Embrace the Other




Church ImpactFrom Organized Religion to Organizing Religion with Brian McLaren



imageYour Congregation as a School of Love with Brian Mclaren

Blogs, Podcasts & Articles

Gray ramp up to the entrance of a white building with a red roofDisability Is Not a Dirty Word

By Allison Bird Treacy (she/her/hers) / Nov. 13, 2023

'One clear manifestation of how our church communities address issues of access and inclusion is the presence—or, more often, absence—of ramps...'

A photo of panelists speaking at Wild Goose.

Standing for Love is Required of All

A panel of spiritual thought leaders discuss what we can all do to create more inclusive communities of faith at the Wild Goose Festival

What can we do to affirm our queer and LGBTQ friends and family seeking spiritual community? Watch this panel from the Wild Goose Festival about what we all can do better to cultivate truly inclusive and welcoming communities of faith.


Emergency exit signTop 10 Reasons Visitors Don’t Come Back

What do visitors say when asked why they don’t return to a church? Thom Rainer outlines the top 10 responses when hundreds of guests were surveyed about their experiences of visiting a church. Read more now. An excerpt from Rainier's book, Becoming a Welcoming Church (B&H)

Christmas Eve candlelight service7 Suggestions for Reaching More People this Christmas

Is your church ready to roll out the holiday welcome mat? Ann Michel offers seven suggestions for helping people meet Christ anew this Christmas. Equip your congregation so that visitors are warmly welcomed online and in person this holiday season.

Church on the Move“Church on the Move” featuring Travis Norvell— Episode 106

How can your church reorient its posture toward its neighbors and neighborhood? Minnesota Pastor Travis Norvell decided to conduct his ministry by bike, on foot, and on public transportation. He shares how this revealed new people, new partners, and new possibilities for ministry. Listen now. | Read in-depth interview. | Watch podcast video on YouTube.

Mixed-age group worshiping and fellowshipping around a dining tableLessons from the Fresh Expressions Movement” featuring Luke Edwards

What can we learn from the Fresh Expression movement’s novel approach to reaching people unlikely to attend church on Sunday mornings? Luke Edwards discusses a process of listening and relationship building that can lead to deepening discipleship and the formation of new, nontraditional worshipping communities.


Laura Stephens-Reed, in the CBF Blog, underscores Why Bringing in Young Families is not a Magic [Cure] for Your Congregation, as she underscores some key do's and don'ts with regard to welcoming young adults and young families.

Tony Morgan

Congregations Lead Initiative

The ELCA's Growing Younger page includes stories, resources, and tools to assist you and your congregation in connecting with new people so that our world may experience the difference God’s grace and love in Christ makes for all people and creation; including:

6 Core Commitments                                                                            

Download The 6 Core Commitments of Churches Growing Younger pdf here.

“The Art of Hospitality” featuring Debi Nixon

How can your church welcome visitors in a way that delights them and lets them know they matter?

Diverse group of Zoomer friends

“Understanding Generation Z and Connecting with Their Passions” featuring Rock Jones

What are the unique characteristics of young people coming of age today? Rock Jones, president of Ohio Wesleyan University, describes a generation of digital natives who are highly connected but also lonely and anxious; describing their life questions, the perspectives they bring to spiritual engagement, and ways church leaders can meet them where they are.

Online Outreach Tips & How-To's

The State of the Black Church: Reconciling Communities and Reimagining Inclusion

by Pride in the Pews; in Progressive Christianity; May 5, 2023

Watch the event video here.

Pride in the Pews is a grassroots nationwide nonprofit building bridges and creating solutions that empower the Black LGBTQ+ community to thrive in the pew, the pulpit, and the public square.


Agile Church | Technology Agile Church: Committed to the Future Success of Mainline Churches

Agile Church was founded to help church leaders and congregations navigate the tidal wave of change affecting growth and threatening the survival of mainline churches. Agile Church is a proven system that combines decades of church leadership experience; a diverse range of consulting services; innovative technology; and a library of proven resources into a single church growth system.

THIS set of slides on pronouncing a name from a culture that is not your own is very useful and practical - and helpful when you want to be hospitable and welcoming whether in your building or your neighborhood.

Faith Practices At Home

from Traci Smith, includes videos for Hospitality, Prayer, Retreat, Service, Storytelling, and Holy Week


Reaching More Diverse People

Click to watch Reaching More Diverse People

How can your congregation reach more diverse people? Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, pastor of the Emory Fellowship in Washington, D.C., shares his observations on this vital topic and describes a model used by his congregation to reach more diverse people.

Watch on YouTube now.

The Video Editing for Churches course will help you learn how to use editing tools like Adobe Rush and iMovie to create videos your members, newcomers, and others will want to see.

The Video Editing for Churches course will help you learn how to use editing tools like Adobe Rush and iMovie to create videos your members, newcomers, and others will want to see.

This is an open enrollment course.

The United Methodist Church's Communications offers free Social Media Shareable download sets containing graphics created for diverse social media platforms.

“ideas on how digital connections can help us reach people not previously connected to our congregations”.

Digital Tools: Church Administration

A comprehensive list of non-social media platforms and software that other Faith+Leaders are using.

All of the United Methodist Communications' Local Church Learning Sessions have been developed specifically to support local United Methodist churches during this extraordinary time. New sessions will be added here as they are produced.

Question marksNew Questions for a New Day

The pandemic presents an opportunity for churches to reframe their thinking and reboot their vision.

Judicatory & Other Denominational Resources

Meet the Rev. Bethany Peerbolte, TikTok pastor

As many as 294,000 followers and more than 5.3 million likes. The Rev. Bethany Peerbolte has developed quite the following thanks to TikTok, the social media platform that has become a primary source for short-form videos.

The PC(USA) Store has compiled a list of Books for LGBTQIA+ Inclusion.

Disability Ministries shares insight, ways congregations are engaging differently abled persons, and suggestions for furthering awareness and hospitality.

Be the Welcoming Church cover image of a smiling person warming embracing another

Be the Welcoming Church

Learn how your church can make visitors feel truly welcome and comfortable.

Multi-media Outreach

Prep worship and community spaces for new and returning folx with Illustrated Ministry's, “You Are Loved” Jesus Canvas Prints or Poster Prints:


Or display You Are Loved Flags in your community space, worship space, or home! Order here.


In Our Library

Book - Paperback     34564368. sy475      Book - Paperback          CHURCH ON PURPOSE     Clip In: Risking Hospitality in Your Church  -     By: Fiona Haworth, Jim Ozier     Book - Paperback     Book - Paperback     God's Welcome | Hospitality for a Gospel-Hungry World (Oden)     Got Religion? book cover, published by Templeton Press               The Mystic Way of Evangelism eBook by Elaine A. Heath - 9781493410323 |  Rakuten Kobo United States     The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A Contemplative Vision for Christian  Outreach: Heath, Elaine A.: 9780801033254: Books - Amazon     9781460991596: No Longer Strangers: The Practice of Radical Hospitality     Book - Paperback     Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other, and the Spirit of Transformation  - Episcopal Shoppe     Receiving God's Love: The Practice of Radical Hospitality  -     By: Robert Schnase     The Rise of the Nones eBook by James Emery White - 9781441246073 | Rakuten  Kobo United States     Book - Paperback          Spiritual Companioning: A Guide to Protestant Theology and Practice  -     By: Angela H. Reed, Richard Osmer, Marcus G. Smucker     9780687032402: Strangers into Friends: Hospitality As a Mission          Cover Image     True Inclusion     Cover for The Twentysomething Soul     Unbinding the Gospel, Second Edition: (Red ribbon)     Unbinding Your Heart: 40 Days of Prayer & Faith Sharing (purple ribbon)     Unbinding Your Soul: Your Experiment in Prayer & Community     Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Visitors     The Welcoming Congregation     Wide Welcome: How the Unsettling Presence of Newcomers Can Save the Church

In Our Library - Curricula

SALT Project

Cindy Bohrer (United student and admissions counselor) is passionate about creating safe, inclusive spaces, particularly when it comes to gender, identity, and pronoun usage. As part of her Social Transformation capstone, she has just released "Becoming in the New Year," a fun downloadable resource to help churches become more generous, kind, and affirming — because y'all means all!

Click here for more information. Click here to download the free resources from Dropbox.

Book - Paperback     Book - Paperback     Book - Paperback

Emerging from Covid Considerations

Photo of a group of smiling people holding clipboards at an outside event

50 Ways to Take Church to the Community

Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service.

Coming Back Together: Church and Consent Culture in 2021 by Meta Herrick Carlson, Jan. 6, 2021

Lewis Center for Church Leadership has a growing list of Covid-19-related resources on topics of Social Action, Stewardship, Technology, and Hospitality.