Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Old Adage is True: Think Before You Speak

At some point in our lives we have been a church visitor. Remember the experience? For some of you it was a positive one. You were greeted by friendly people, knew where to park, there were signs directed you to classrooms, restrooms and the worship center.
Yet, for others, you felt lost. You weren't greeted, didn't feel welcomed, didn't know where the restrooms were, etc. Whatever your experience was, good or bad, there are certain statements a church visitor (we call them guests at First Free) never want to hear right off the bat. Some I have heard personally, others I read from an article by Ben Reed, a small groups pastor from Clarksville, TN.

  1. Our Pastor isn't normally this ____ (loud, obnoxious, long winded, etc.).
  2. We're full, sorry. (We need to be willing to find a group for them and have a backup plan if classes or the worship service is full.)
  3. What are you doing here? (It implies that God couldn't really love someone like them)
  4. You can't serve've got to be a member first. (Why would someone want to be a member if they've never had a chance to serve?)
  5. We don't believe in serving coffee on Sunday mornings.
  6. What's your address? I didn't catch it on the first 6 forms I had you fill out.
  7. You want to join a small group? You'll have to wait until next Fall. (If a person has to wait more than a month they will go to another church.)
  8. Here we just care about the Truth. If you don't like it, you can leave. (Love people and love Truth, but not one or the other.)
  9. Here are the 38 things we do each week as a church. (Simplifying is the key, otherwise we give people decision paralysis.)
  10. Next time, could you make sure to wear _____ (Fill that in with "something nicer, something that's clean". Creating a "come as you are" culture should be First Free's aim, not a "come as I am" culture.)

Got any to add? Send me them this week and I will share them with other Freshly Bru'd readers.

P.S. Don't miss communion this Sunday. This celebration of Jesus' death, resurrection, and return is one of the most meaningful memorials that deserves our presence.

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