Recently I saw an interesting article on MinistryMatters.com titled “Nine questions church visitors aren’t asking but churches are still trying to answer.” Here we go:
- So how soon can I get involved with your committees?
- Can I get a longer bulletin—maybe something with more detail?
- Will you please single me out in front of all the people during worship this morning?
- Will you please send some “callers” by my house later and interrupt me while I fix dinner?
- Can you please seat us in those uncomfortable pews with our fidgety kids and aging parents?
- How quickly can I fill out a pledge card?
- Does this church have weekly meetings, rehearsals and other activities that will consume most of our family’s free time?
- I need more paperwork! Can you give me a folder filled with glossy pamphlets, old newsletters and denominational statements of belief?
- During the worship service, can someone with a monotone voice speak (at length) about all the insider church happenings and people’s private health matters? I find this so inspiring.
Here are a few of my thoughts:
- Perhaps this brief article will inspire church leaders to consider carefully what to do and what not to do when communicating with church visitors, assuming some of those folks still exist in your community and are not totally extinct.
- We do well to be sensitive to the thoughts, impressions, needs and feelings of folks who take what to them may very well be a significant risk of becoming a church visitor.
- It is very important for us to see our church as others see it, including its exterior and interior features, restrooms, nursery, etc., and to see ourselves as they see us!
- Perhaps before we continue providing answers to questions no one is asking, we should take time to discern the questions people actually have on their minds.
Why is all this important? Purely because of our responsibility as Christians, stated in 2 Corinthians 5:20: “Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.”
That’s an awesome responsibility and incredible privilege! Regardless of the reason people visit our church, they are people for whom Christ died! And we are Christ’s representatives to them!