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Invite Them and They Will Come

According to a recent poll of church-goers, 82% of those who don’t go to or belong to a church would go to a church service this weekend if a friend or someone they know invited them. That is a huge number – 82%!

There is no reason to believe that the same number would be different for Jewish unaffiliated people.

So what is the problem? We all know what it is – Jewish prayer services are boring and unless the synagogue you’re inviting them to is friendly or makes a connection in some way, the people you invite are not likely to return, with the possible exception of the High Holidays.

According to a book called The Rise of the Nones by James Emery White, the secret to having people come and want to come back is the congregation must have the following factors:

  • be friendly and welcoming
  • be able to excite the children
  • have appealing music
  • have a nice-looking building
  • have a spiritual feeling

And, of course, the synagogue must have some or all of the attributes suggested by the Shalomist Movement, especially concerning the content of the prayer service and the quality and appeal of the rabbi.

So it’s not that hard to get new members, but your congregants must believe that their friends and relatives will have a good experience there or they won’t bother to invite them.

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