Welcome (ebook)

Welcome ebook

Loving Your Church by Making Space for Everyone

By Jen Oshman, foreword by Tim Challies
from 4 reviews

How every church member can be like Jesus by making newcomers and outsiders feel part of the church family

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Description

Walking into church can be intimidating, whether for the first time or after a period of absence, whether you are a non-believer or a believer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your church was a place where everyone received a warm welcome? A place where newcomers can quickly feel at home and where non-believers receive the welcome of God’s people alongside the welcome of Jesus?

This warm, practical book by Jen Oshman explores what the Bible says to help readers discover how to make space for others, however different they are to them, in their church and in their lives. She also gives practical advice, drawing on good practice from churches around the world in a range of situations. In a world of division, individualism, and isolation, readers will see that their church can witness to Christ by being a place of welcome, community, and connection.

Chapters include how Jesus welcomes us, the impact of welcoming in the early church, the effect of being siblings in Christ, how to welcome beyond Sunday, helpful systems and strategies, how our joy in Christ causes us to be outward-looking, and mirroring the glorious vision set out in Revelation.

Whether you’re a pastor looking to encourage your congregation to welcome others or a church member wanting to see unbelievers come to faith and help everyone feel part of the family, this book is for you.

There are discussion questions at the end of every chapter with action steps, making it ideal to read as a small group or even a whole church. Accompanying free downloads are available that can be used for small groups. There are downloadable worksheets, a PDF version of the book's discussion guide, introductory videos for each chapter and more.

This is one of the first books in the new Love Your Church series, which is being written by a collection of Bible teachers from Acts29. It is designed to inspire every church member to love their church in practical ways by casting a biblical vision of what it means to be a local community of God’s family. The series will explore what it means to belong, to welcome, to gather, to care, to serve, and to honor one another, and to witness and send people out to spread the gospel.

Product details

Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. How Jesus Welcomes Us
  • 2. The Radical Welcome of the Early Church
  • 3. This Church Opens Wide Her Doors
  • 4. Welcome to the Family
  • 5. Welcoming Way beyond Sunday
  • 6. Systems and Strategies for Sunday and Every Day
  • 7. An Outward Focus
  • Conclusion: As We Have Been Welcomed…

Specification

Contributors Jen Oshman, Tim Challies
ISBN 9781784988487
Format eBook
First published January 2023
Case quantity 50
Language English
Pages 144
Publisher The Good Book Company
Endorsements

J.T. English

Lead Pastor, Storyline Fellowship, Arvada, Colorado; Author, Deep Discipleship

The most welcoming place on the planet should be the church, and the most welcoming people on the planet should be Christians. Why? So that sinners can hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Welcome, we are invited to fling open the doors of the church and open the doors of our lives so that all people will have the chance to hear about who Jesus is and what he has accomplished for a lost and dying world.

Hunter Beless

Host, Journeywoman Podcast; Author, Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It!

Welcome provides biblical encouragement to mirror the work of our kind and hospitable God. Jen Oshman encourages readers to sacrificially welcome others as Christ welcomed us. I want to give every member of my local church a copy of this compelling book!

Gavin Ortlund

Pastor, First Baptist Church of Ojai, California; Author, Why God Makes Sense in a World That Doesn't

The gospel should create a culture of welcome (Romans 15:7) so that the local church is, as Jen Oshman beautifully puts it, ‘a porch light in a dark night.’ This is all the more important in a time of deep loneliness and fragmentation. This wonderful book will help both church leaders and regular members build a culture in their churches that reflects the welcome of the gospel. It is filled with practical ideas, biblical and historical wisdom, and counsel that touches the heart. Highly recommended!

Customer reviews


04/02/2023

“The Necessity of Welcome”

(Review written for 'Welcome')

Previously our church has used the "Love Your Church" series and found it readable and widely applicable. I got a copy of this book because one area we should particularly be thinking about is our welcome. While we can sometimes be very hospitable and warm to visitors, it's helpful to have a book that states the necessity of a warm welcome and also the theological reasoning for it! Now that we've read the book as a welcome team, we need to spend some time working out together how we can use it in our day to day ministry life, especially as we try to reach out into the community more purposefully this year.


17/01/2023

“The Gift of Loving Your Church”

(Review written for 'Welcome')

The third book in the series by Jen Oshman is titled Welcome: Loving Your Church by Make Space For Everyone (2023). Many churches today are seen as unwelcoming at best, and hostile to outsiders at worst. Neither of these should be the case. The local church should be the most welcoming place on earth. That is not to say that in order to be a welcoming church, it has to compromise the biblical gospel. The exact opposite is true. It is only because the biblical gospel is the only way to salvation that the church should welcome everyone with open arms so that they come and hear the good news of Jesus.

Being a welcoming church is not something that comes easy, but must be worked at with eagerness. It is easy to congregate in a “holy huddle” and not be open to folks that don’t look and sound like us. For this reason, local churches must have strategies to insure that visitors feel welcome when they visit. This will look different based on context, but local churches should be intentional about teaching its members the importance of being welcoming. Over time, this effort will go a long way in not only reaching a community with the biblical gospel, but can help make the Christian faith more appealing to those who may have once been skeptical.

The Love Your Church series is an excellent set of resources for church leaders and lay people alike. Each volume exhorts local churches to be what the church is called to be by Jesus. The church is an institution established by the Lord to propagate the gospel to the ends of the earth. Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). This promise should give the church confidence in its mission, but also serve as a warning. It is only when we are standing on the biblical gospel, that we stand firm. For this reason, the church should be a place to gather for worship, find true belonging, and welcome others to come and find rest.


15/01/2023

“Must-read for church members”

(Review written for 'Welcome')

What does it mean to be “welcoming?”

Do you greet the visitor at church on Sunday? Are you cultivating relationships outside of formal activities in your church?

What about your witness to nonbelievers?

This book unpacks all of that and so much more.

I never forget visiting a church in college and after just visiting one Sunday, one of the elders remembered my name and invited my husband (then boyfriend) and I over for dinner. We ended up joining that church after years of searching for one in undergrad.

It meant so much to me because I had completely opposite experiences before after attending churches for months.

Jen Oshman lays out how those simple gestures can have lasting kingdom impact.

These gestures help us not just call each other family in Christ but we start to live that out deeply in a non surface level way.

I loved how practical this book was. Each chapter has “Action Steps” at the end on how to put into practice the truths about being welcoming in the chapter.

It has discussion questions + a guide in the back and would be great for a community group type setting.


02/01/2023

“convicting”

(Review written for 'Welcome')

This is the third new book in the Love Your Church series by The Good Book Company. Oshman discusses the need for the Church body to confirm all are welcome to both the Church and to Christ.

The book is structured with seven chapters, each addressing a facet of what it means to welcome those into the church body. Each chapter, once again, concludes with action steps and once again, my favorite part of the book. When you are a task oriented person, you thrive off a check list of actionable bullet points. These have a wide range of applicability but all focus on how you as an individual or church body can welcome all people into the life of Christ and his body.

I appreciated Oshman discussing historical events along with biblical events that display how the Church body welcomed any and all people. She provides a plethora of examples of historical and current Churches who have and are practicing the concept of "welcome". These provide such great insight into how we can grow the "welcome" within our own churches.

As like the other books in the series, this one includes a small group discussion guide to allow for group study.

I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

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Welcome (ebook) | Jen Oshman, Tim Challies | $8.99