The Mandate to Witness
This congregation, relying on the Holy Spirit, shall proclaim the Gospel by word and deed and thereby invite all people to repent and believe. The congregation shall recruit, motivate, equip and support its members to witness to their faith at every opportunity in daily life so that the Lord is glorified, the fellowship is strengthened, the lapsed are restored and new members are added to the congregation. It shall provide for the communication of the Gospel through fellowship in the wider Christian community. It shall assure that all congregational functions witness to the faith of the church.
- Put together an organizing committee early in the year. Easter is not too early. Recruit someone to be in charge of food, someone to be in charge of entertainment, someone to be in charge of decorating, and someone to be in charge of publicity.
- Pick a date for your Café—a Sunday afternoon in mid Advent works best for us.
- Book your space, if you need to rent one.
- Book your featured guest performer—a professional or semi-professional person or group who will draw a crowd. This should be done fairly early in the year—by June or September at the latest.
- In September, publicize the event in the congregation and invite groups and individuals to put together musical acts around the theme of Advent/Christmas. Encourage the Sunday school and youth to be involved somehow. Make sure something in your program tells the Christmas story and invites people to "come back for more".
- Put out posters in mid-November and (if you can afford it) a newspaper ad the first two weeks in December.
- Let other churches know what you are doing.
- Remember: your aim is to target friends, family, coworkers and neighbours and invite non-churched people to come to a church event. Word of mouth is the best advertising, so tell your congregation to get busy talking about this event and inviting folks.
- Plan your venue. Where will the tables go? Where will the "stage" be? Make sure you have the electrical hardware to accommodate all your groups—do they need to "plug in"? Do you need a sound system?
- Recruit people for set-up and clean-up.
- Recruit a good photographer to record your Café. Then you can follow up with stories in the local paper and synod paper.
- Be sure to let Café guests know your Christmas worship times and INVITE THEM TO COME!