Ever wonder about that new family two pews down from you? They have been attending Mass regularly, but you never see them stay for coffee and donuts. I wonder where they are from. Why did they join our parish? Are they interested in joining a ministry? There are plenty of ways you can engage new parishioners. You are likely doing some of these now: welcoming committees, new parishioner orientations, ministry fairs, etc. A lot of what is set up for new parishioners is meant for the parishioner to learn more about the church community, but what if you reversed this and had something in place where the community could know more about the new parishioners? How about using parishioner spotlights, and set aside a portion of the bulletin to highlight an individual or household?
You could send a few questions to a parishioner or family every week, asking about their background, jobs, interests, how they heard about the parish and any other interesting facts they’d like to share. You don’t have to just highlight the new parishioners but mix it up with long-time members as well. Making this a regular part of your parish communications will make your community seem a little more connected, no matter its size. Using parishioner spotlights can be a great benefit for the entire parish – and a great way to highlight people of faith in different generations.