Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Grow Our Meetings Toolkit

Photo by Marta Rusek

Growing Our Meetings: Inreach, Outreach, and Integrating Newcomers

The Grow Our Meetings toolkit offers guidance and tools for Friends that want to deepen their own spiritual life, welcome new life into their meetings, consider what it’s like to be new in a meeting, and do outreach.

Many Quakers deeply long to see our meetings grow – to experience deep and grounded worship, to participate in a thriving and active community life that embraces children, young adults, and diverse voices, and to share the gift of Quaker practice and faith with the wider world.  Meaningful growth is about more than numbers and to increase the vitality and voice of the Religious Society of Friends calls for a holistic approach.  The Grow Our Meetings toolkit is designed to address three distinct components of meeting growth: Growing Our Spirits, Growing Our Presence, and Growing Our Quaker Community.

Growing Our Spirits (Inreach) – strengthening the meeting community, sharing personal journeys, and becoming welcoming and vibrant

Growing Our Presence (Outreach) – becoming known in the local community through publicity and inviting seekers in

Growing our Quaker Community (Integrating Newcomers) – welcoming visitors and integrating newcomers into the life of our meetings

The three components of growth – inreach, outreach, and integrating newcomers – are interconnected and equally important in supporting the health and vitality of our meetings.  

This is not a one-size-fits-all program.  It’s a collection of resources to help meetings discern how they are being called to grow and to explore some possibilities for inreach, outreach, and welcoming newcomers.

This toolkit is intentionally designed to allow for flexibility on the part of each meeting to respond to the needs of their community.  Rather than a fixed sequence of activities, for each topic there is a collection of resources, facilitation guides for activities, and ideas to spark creativity and momentum.  Choose what is useful for your meeting and have fun with it!

 

Growing Our Meetings will be different in each meeting, but the ultimate goals are the same – to energize Friends, deepen the sense of community, and welcome others to share the Quaker spiritual path.
To provide spiritual hospitality for families and children, meetings must offer opportunities for both adults and kids to build connection, find meaning, and learn about the Quaker way.
Inreach is about meeting the spiritual needs of the people who are already part of our meeting communities.
In the process of preparing for outreach, meetings often experience deep spiritual sharing and take steps toward being more welcoming and inclusive of newcomers.
The simple act of preparing to welcome visitors can give new life to a meeting.
Our meetings are enriched by diverse voices, perspectives, and journeys. To embrace That of God in Everyone, we must take steps to be welcoming and inclusive across diversities.