Program review: Open Doors
Program review: Open Doors

Open Doors cover

An excellent and extensive toolkit for newcomer ministries is now available from LeaderResources, an online publisher of Christian formation resources.

Written by veteran formation leader Linda Grenz, this resource is rightly listed under the “must haves” category on the LeaderResources website. This free downloadable collection of resources provides much guidance and many tools for reaching out to the unchurched in your community.

The key advice underpinning this resource is: newcomers will show up to church for the first time at four key entry points in the church year – Christmas, Easter, Vacation Bible School, and the beginning of the school year. To support hospitality and welcome of newcomers, this resource provides training notes for volunteers, liturgies, activities, music
suggestions, and even recipes.

All suggestions are designed specifically for Episcopal parishes and can be tweaked to fit parishes of all sizes. “How to Start a Sunday School from Scratch,” part of this toolkit, is particularly affirming and informing for smaller churches which might view themselves as too small for a formal Sunday School program.

The “Invitation Team Guide” likewise is an excellent basic course in relational ministry in the Episcopal tradition. Best yet, this resource goes beyond “bodies in the pews, pledges in the plate,” focusing on prayer and spirituality as the crux of newcomer ministry.

Watch a video introduction to the program.

Download the program.

Many other high-quality, affordable resources are also available at

Cindy Coe (@CynthiaCoe) is 2013 Guest Editor for Episcopal Teacher and a Christian formation specialist withEpiscopal Relief & Development.

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