Pin It

Fresh Eyes

It is amazing what you can notice when you have fresh eyes going into a new place. Too often we don't accurately see everything we need to because we are used to seeing it all the time.

Ask someone who has never been to your church to come and get an honest evaluation and assessment of how you are doing at your Sunday morning worship experience. You may be surprised!

Here is an example from Ron at assimilation blog

I went to church last Sunday.
To a church with a reputation as a well-oiled machine.
Surely, I would be greeted warmly
And asked if this was my first time.

I parked the car and walked to the entrance.
Several people walked right past me.
No one asked my name.

I walked into the foyer.
People everywhere, heading to their seats.
No one asked my name.

I gladly received a bulletin from one of the ushers.
No one asked my name.
Not even the usher.
In fact, if I hadn't offered to shake her hand
That wouldn't have happened either.

During the brief greeting time,
No one asked me if I was new.
No one asked my name.

After the service,
People let me walk right by.
No one asked my name.

This is a flagship church in my area.
Preaching, excellent.
Worship, fantastic.
Just didn't get the attention
I assumed guests should receive.

Am I upset? No.
This is a scenario that could happen
In any given church on any given Sunday.
Unless there is an awareness of guests
And a strategy to envelope them.

I did not feel welcome,
But I did have a great time.

How would a person with no
Previous church background have felt?

Makes me wonder,
What's happening at my church?
Do we have enough interaction with guests?
Are we asking their names?

Of course, we're the friendliest church.
Says who?
Outsiders see things differently.


I've been to churches like that. Michael & I even candidated at one - didn't make us feel like we'd really fit there! At any rate, this really spoke to me because I am THE "Greeter" at our church (it's a really small church - about 20 families). Even on those days when I'm feeling like hibernating, it's important to connect with those who've made a point of showing up, especially if they're visiting. Wow - I really appreciate that post!

Hi Bill,

This is the first time I've commented on your blog and I'm based in Australia so there are undoubtedly some cultural differences which sometimes make communication difficult.

The last time I attended a church service was earlier this year, where my daughter regularly attends, and I was greeted very nicely at the door by a young guy wearing a name tag. During the service the pastor gave folks a couple of minutes to greet each other, this appears to be a regular part of the meeting, and I was once again greeted.

A couple of impressions; the folks that greeted me during the service were the very same folks who greeted me at the Christmas service earlier in the year and had no memory of that conversation. Same questions and same mechanical delivery. Both lots of greeters were doing their job, and probably doing it well. It's just that they were adhering to what the organization was telling them what to do and were not really interested in me as a person. Outside of those two occurrences nobody was interested in striking up a conversation.

My take on this is that it is probably okay. I don't expect to make friends when I go to the cinema or when I queue up at the supermarket checkout so why should I expect something different when attending a formal religious meeting.

You probably already know about
. Hemant is an interesting guy who happens to be an atheist and he was tasked to write some impressions about a number churches. It’s an interesting story as he “won” the job via an e-Bay auction.

Thanks for the heads up on Hermant, I was aware of his when he posted himself on Ebay, but I haven't been tracking him since.

Post a Comment