Sunday services can feel second nature if you’ve been going for a while. But for those who have never attended, it can feel overwhelming. Here are a few things you can explain to your friends who are coming for the first time to help them prepare:
- We don’t pass the plate or ask for donations.
- Things that happen during our first meeting (singing hymns, members of the congregation speaking and teaching, the sacrament, etc.)
- They don’t have to participate in the sacrament; you can simply pass the tray to the next person.
- Members of the congregation will be dressed up, but it’s OK if you are not; above all, just try to look nice.
- We go to classes after sacrament meeting (Primary for children, Sunday School for adults and youth, and classes every other week for women, men, young women, and young men).
It might help you to visit ChurchofJesusChrist.org/ComeUntoChrist. It’s filled with rich content catered toward those not of our faith who want to learn more about the Church. Get familiar with this content and share it with your friends.
In ward council or other leadership meetings, talk about the ways your ward could be more welcoming. Here are some ideas to get the conversation going:
- Watch some of the “Welcome” videos on this page. What themes or experiences stand out? Would these new members/families feel welcome in our ward/branch?
- Does our ward feel like a welcoming community? What are we doing to care for our ward family?
- Are there any problems with loneliness or rejection in our ward?
- Could we create callings to help people feel more welcome? (ward greeter, activities coordinator, etc.)
Discuss these topics in a 5th Sunday meeting. Make the meeting fun, engaging, and inclusive.
- Watch the “Welcome” videos provided on this page, and have a discussion. Point out things that worked and felt natural and perhaps things that could have worked better. Brainstorm other ideas that could help others feel welcome at church. What themes or experiences stood out to you? Would these new members feel welcome in our ward/branch?
- Is the culture of our ward/branch a welcoming one? What are some examples of this? What are some areas where we need to improve?
- What are some good examples of welcoming others you have seen in previous wards/branches? Can you implement them in your ward now?
- Have you experienced feeling unwelcome in a ward or branch? What are some things you can do to make sure others don’t have the same experience? What has made you feel welcome?
- What can we do as a ward/branch family to become a more welcoming community?
- Watch the “Come and See” videos provided on this page. What actions are you already taking as a ward or individually?
Below are some additional resources to watch and discuss with your ward:
In smaller groups or as a stake council, talk about ways to make missionary work a priority in your stake. Feel free to use the content on this page to get the discussion going. Here are a few tips to start:
- Watch some of the “Welcome” videos on this page (including the new member stories). What themes or experiences stand out? Would these new members/families feel welcome in our stake?
- What things can we do at a stake level to increase the love that we feel for each other?
- Are there things leaders can do to make newcomers feel more welcome? What can we do to create a welcoming culture?
- Could stake callings or assignments focus solely on welcoming new members (e.g., overseeing integration of new members into wards, stake community event coordinator, etc.)?