Today is a Friday Finds that works a little different. Usually it’s some random things that I have encountered, but I’ve got a group for you today all focused on Welcoming Church Visitors.
Pretend I’m not here
Notice that the data suggests that visitors may not want to identify themselves as such until later. . . .
Only 11 percent said they would be willing to identify themselves as a visitor when visiting a church for the first time and 63 percent said they would prefer to wait until at least the second visit to let anyone know they are visiting. Wanting a less formal introduction, 26 percent of formerly churched adults said they desire to slip in and casually introduce themselves after the service.
A Reporter’s Journey
Reporter Chris Thompson has been visiting churches around Anchorage Alaska and writing blog posts about it. See: Church Visits main page.
Searching: I’ve been looking for a church that projects relevance to my stage of Christian development. In this quest I have visited and worshiped with many streams of religious persuasion. Assuming this may be an issue for many in the Anchorage area, I offer in this blog brief accounts of my visits. The criteria I use in evaluating my visits are:
- Did the church project friendliness and warmth?
- Did I truly feel welcomed?
- Did I relate to the main teaching and was it delivered effectively?
- Did music merely entertain or did it deepen the worship experience?
Stop being friendly!
Even after all these reminders on being friendly, a Methodist blogger Jeremy Smith writes “Stop Being a Friendly Church”
- A friendly church is not what God calls us to be.
- We are called to be a church where people can make friends.
A Vineyard elder writes about his experience visiting churches while on a temporary long term job in a different town: Read The importance of being a welcoming church [source post deleted]. Note that one was cold and clueless, the second one was toooooo friendly.
I didn’t know that it was possible to accuse a church of being too friendly, but I think this church accomplished this feat. We were met by a greeter with a GUSHING welcome. This person then made it her business to introduce us to at least three other people standing in the lobby area, and each of them in turn gave us an extended, overly-friendly greeting, all this while we had our three young kids in tow that we were trying to get checked in to Sunday School! It seemed “fake.”
Improve Your Church Hospitality
Do you want more first time church visitors to come back a second time? Taking care of your hospitality systems can help you keep more of your visitors. I’ve put an ebook together to help you review your hospitality systems.