Greetings small church friends!
As welcome and incorporation has been a topic of discussion in the past (remember "John's Story?) I would like to recommend a book I just finished. It is Beyond the First Visit: The Complete Guide to Connecting Guests to Your Church, by Gary L. McIntosh.
This book will be especially helpful to any congregation seeking to develop an INTENTIONAL plan for welcome and incorporation. It is filled with interesting facts (ex: A person makes eleven decisions with in the first seven seconds of arrival), step-by-step instructions (ex: a four step plan for follow-up, page 121) and suggestions (loose the word visitor and replace it with guest, drawing a metaphor between how we plan for a guest at our home vs. how we receive a visitor).
What I liked about this book is that it goes beyond "the problem is" thinking, and instead offers positive ways forward. It also grasps the fact that we are in a changing world and our ministry context is changing, that it is about the needs of our wider community, and that opportunities for spiritual transformation must abound in the healthy and vital congregation.
A great read for a group study...