Today’s guest article about being a church visitor comes from Fran, who is currently visiting churches after many years with one church of one brand.
Here are her observations after visiting. Reposted with permission.
Ok, these are my thoughts, feelings, and observations from the last 6 months of visiting churches and feeling my way through that process. These are a few things I have seen from within my own heart and a few things I have noticed through the eyes of a visitor.
Here is what I know….
1. People come into church looking all fabulous, cleaned up, put together, bibles in tow, and appear to have it all together. HOWEVER, we are broken, hurting, lonely, sad, scared, anxious, and insecure (to some degree) needing to meet people and Jesus in a REAL LIFE HEART FELT WAY!!!!! Yes, it’s true. Every single one of us is broken. Every single one of us need relationships here on earth. Every single one of us need Jesus.
2. I might know 50 people or I may know 5 people in your church. Oh wait….I might not know a soul in your church. I need someone to acknowledge my presence in your church and recognize that I darkened your doors. I need to know that you really care and want me and my family to come back. And, I mean that beyond the “I’m glad you are here today and hope you come back and if you have any questions let me know” sort of thing.
3. I want someone to acknowledge my kids. Even though I might have middle school boys, their mom and dad still take them everywhere and I want to know who you are and what you do as a church to minister to these kids. I am very interested in that. VERY! Communication is good. Especially to the seeker. And do this more than once.
4. If we have spent months in your church and then all of a sudden stop coming, please call and say you miss us and let us know what is going so we don’t feel left out and dismissed so easily. Remember #1 above? Read it again. Let me talk mail for one second. Please add us to your mailing lists or email lists or whatever your church has going list so I’ll know what is going on. Call me needy, but I want someone to reach out to us. It’s not fun to do all the digging as a visitor.
5. Finally, invest in your visitors when you see that they have been coming fairly regularly. Reach out to them. Call, email, mail, whatever. DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING. PLEASE. The keyword is invest. Act like the church and reach out to them. Go back to #1 again.
It is so hard to walk into a church with all the junk that you may be carrying, acting as if all is right with the world, and desperately wanting a place to call home. It is hard. Period.
If you are active in a church or on staff of a church, please take the time to invest in your visitors. And I mean, take the time to guide them, show them, share with them, include them, and invite them to everything you can think of when it comes to your church. And, don’t forget about them when they have been coming for awhile too. 😉
I’m ready to be at home. My heart is all but crying out for it. Praying to find it soon.
Upgrade Your Hospitality
You can offer your hospitality team a class that I offer, “Upgrade Your Hospitality.” As long as you have a high speed internet connection, you can offer this class to your team. It is a live and interactive training (not recorded) and we can troubleshoot some of these areas.
In this 90 minute online teleclass, among other equip your team on:
- How welcoming guests helps your church fulfill or fail the great commission.
- 8 characteristics to know about your guests BEFORE they arrive so you can serve them well.
- No manuals necessary – how to have awesome hospitality ministry in unforeseen moments.
- 8 necessary traits of a church hospitality volunteer who blesses your guests.