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 get started, we invite you to explore this toolkit to get a sense of what resources are offered. If your meeting chooses to focus on inreach, there is a collection of facilitation guides for activities that can prompt spiritual sharing, both for the whole meeting and small groups. If outreach is your goal, you’ll find ideas for outreach activities, as well as examples of creative and effective publicity materials created by Quakers. For meetings considering ways to integrate newcomers into the life of the community, there are guides to help Friends see through the eyes of newcomers, as well as some good ideas for welcoming that have worked well in other meetings.
As a first step, we recommend leading your meeting through a series of Grow Our Meeting activities that will spark the conversation around inreach, outreach, and welcoming newcomers, and get Friends thinking about ways the meeting is called to grow. These activities offer an invitation for the meeting to discern for itself what changes it wants to make in order to deepen the spiritual life of the meeting, nurture both newcomers and those who are already there, and share the Quaker way with the wider community.
Sample Agenda: An All-Meeting Workshop on Growing Our Meeting
|Being a Healthy Meeting||30-60 minutes|
|Inreach and Spiritual Community||30 minutes|
|Outreach Is…||30-45 minutes|
|Spiritual Hospitality for Newcomers||60-75 minutes|
|Discerning Next Steps||60 minutes|
These activities can be offered during a one-day renewal workshop, a 3-4 week series of second-hour conversations, a 5-week Adult Religious Education series, or whatever arrangement works best for your meeting. Be sure that your time together is grounded by worship.
At the completion of this series, your meeting may choose to launch an outreach campaign, practice some new ways of building connections with visitors, organize inreach groups for spiritual sharing, freshen up the meeting house, or continue to explore other activities in the toolkit together.
While some of the planning work may be done by committees or a working group, we recommend that the whole meeting be involved in the conversations and discernment around growth and next steps.
*The starred files below include facilitation guides for activities you can implement TODAY in your meeting.