Hey Fam! Thanks for opening up your home to others as we continue in our mission to Bring people to Jesus, Build people to live like Jesus, and Send people to multiply like Jesus. Below you will find a variety of resources designed to help you be intentional and effective with the people you have invited into your home. There is no pressure to use all of these resources; feel free to use whatever is helpful to you! We pray that God will meet you and speak to you as you join together in your home.
There are four things that contribute to a successful Church At Home experience: a welcoming environment, a hospitable space, a safe community, and shared roles and opportunities. If you are inviting people into your homes, here are some trips, tricks, and tools for creating the most comfortable atmosphere and culture.
Before bringing people into your home, think about the flow of where you want people to go and how your set up will inform them of those expectations. The front door is the first thing people will see as they enter your home. Consider putting a sign in the entryway indicating if they should knock or come on in – feel free to include instructions like, “Welcome! Please leave shoes in the hallway as you come in.”
A clean house is not required, but it does help people feel more at ease, especially if this is their first time at your place. Cleaning the whole house may not be necessary as long as you just keep the rooms you want people in picked up. If you know the number of people coming over, try to set up chairs to accommodate the size of your group in the room where you are streaming in advance. Playing music in the background is always a great way to set the tone. Need help deciding on the kind of music? Here is a Spotify link to our Church At Home playlist!
Part of creating a hospitable space is anticipating and preparing to meet the needs of your guests. Providing some kind of snack or coffee bar is an inviting gesture most people will appreciate and participate in! Use what you have available to you or invite others to help out with this too. Check out some fun recipe ideas in this resource guide if you want some inspiration!
If a new guest arrives, make sure to point out where the bathroom is located or where they can store their extra belongings. It never hurts to set out a cup of extra pens and loose leaf sheets of paper for those who forget their note taking materials at home. Test the audio and video functions on your computer or TV before people arrive. Think about the room lighting as well. Can everyone view the video from where the chairs are set up? Is the lighting causing a glare or shadow across the screen? Can people see to take notes? Troubleshooting and preparing for these technical aspects will help create a distraction-free experience.
As you consider the people you could invite, think about the types of conversation you hope to cultivate and tap on a few people you trust to create that culture. When you extend out your invitation for others to join you in your home, these select few people can help model community, confidentiality, and participation levels.
Meeting together in these small Church At Home settings will likely provide many opportunities for deeper discussions and more vulnerability than what you might experience at our usual Sunday worship gathering. Be thinking about how to transition into a time of discussion after the message and have a few questions ready to continue the conversation.
Praying with and for one another is a great way to end your time together. If you need some help or inspiration, we have included some great discussion questions and prayer prompts specific to this Sunday’s message in this resource!
Shared Roles and Opportunities
When we gather together on a Sunday, we utilize hundreds of volunteers to help make each service and transition run smoothly. Joining in your homes together gives you the opportunity to replicate this on a smaller scale. Feel free to tap on a few people joining you to help greet newcomers at the door, contribute to or set up a food and drink table, facilitate discussion, and close in prayer! We hope you don’t feel pressured to tackle all of these roles and opportunities on your own. Create a game plan, share the responsibilities and enjoy doing life together, serving one another.