Are you familiar with the principle? Other authors and parish ministers have used it; it’s not original to me. “First serve” involves the invitation to volunteering or parish ministry. A new parishioner or a prospective old-timer commits for only one time.
In liturgy, it’s an easy thing to implement for some ministries. Hospitality ministers, either ushers or greeters have easy tasks, and if the regulars are welcoming of recruits, they can assist with the hands-on stuff. Art & Environment committee too. (Decorating for Advent or Lent or something like that.)
First Serve might be possible for a one-time singing commitment. Christmas can get fairly intense in some parishes, but everybody knows the familiar carols and harmony might break out surprisingly well.
First Serve is lilkely less useful for the ministries of more involved procedures (distributing Communion) or intense preparation (lectors).
From a powerpoint I developed for a workshop I did years ago, my reasons for offering a single-event “first serve”:
- Newcomers get to know others who serve and get a glimpse of parish operations
- They get their feet wet without a full-blown commitment
- They can control their involvement; they know if they get sucked in, it will be their choice.
- Small successes breed bigger ones
What do you think?