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The Dos and Don’ts of Church First Impressions
Subscribe By signing, I acknowledge and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Editor's choice. Toggle navigation. Matthew Green and Silvia Lucchetti. Jeffrey Bruno. Tom Hoopes Apr 29, If my focus group ruled the world, here's what they would probably enforce. Read more:. However you actually greet guests—with a coffee station, trained greeters, or gift bags—the key is to open your community to people by making your church home feel like theirs and initiating a relationship that will hopefully extend for years to come.
5 do's and 5 don'ts for using your church building well | The Christian Century
The articles below will help you consider how to make your church more welcoming. I remember attending a local revival meeting in the area where I used to pastor. I did not know the pastor of the host church well, but I wanted to be supportive, so I attended with my daughter. After we sang a few songs, the pastor ascended the pulpit area, gave a greeting, and then asked for guests to raise their hands, state their names, and say where they were from.
If there had been room in the pew rack between the Bible and the hymnal, I would have crawled in. To my dismay, he recognized me, pointed right at me, and waited. After the service, I assured her I would never do that to guests at our church. That day I got a small taste of what guests at thousands of churches around the country experience every Sunday morning.
Do’s and don’ts for attracting young people to church
It has helped me navigate an age-old dilemma: how do we welcome guests without overwhelming them? A swing and a miss is still a miss—no matter how mighty the swing.
The average church worship gathering sees two kinds of guests: those with a church background and those with little-to-none. The first type has some expectation of what the gathering will be like. The second goes by rumors, TV shows, and, often, negative word-of-mouth. How we engage guests—especially first-time guests—can determine not only whether they will return, but also whether they will judge us as genuinely interested in them. Rather than welcoming newcomers, people make lunch plans, discipline children, put away chewed gum, and discuss football games.
They end up feeling left out, not welcomed. But do not be surprised if some guests view it as contrived—especially if no one speaks to them outside of that two-minute window. Asking guests to remain seated while everyone else stands provides a strange point of view for those seated—to put it mildly. And, after more than 35 years as a follower of Jesus, I still feel anxious when asked to raise my hand or stand while everyone else remains seated. Few things are less appealing to my fellow introverts and me than forced small talk.
Most worship gatherings feature a time when the pastor or another leader welcomes attendees. When I was a lead pastor, this was when I liked to express deep appreciation for any guests in attendance. After all, they had—quite literally—a world of other options on that particular morning.
I never wanted to take them for granted or miss an opportunity to make them feel appreciated by limiting my welcome to a recap of the bulletin announcements. These volunteers are the vanguard of your welcome team, so devote time training them to brag on kids, admire new babies, and help guests find the friend who invited them.
Church Announcements: 7 Do’s and Dont’s
This goes a long way toward showing that guests matter. At our church, this team is responsible for distributing the bulletin as they greet each arrival. This exchange of printed information is another opportunity for connection and conversation. Most churches now have gathering spaces in the back for conversation. Take loud children to the back. Every parent knows that sometimes the baby is going to have a bad day.
Parents with young kids should sit on the end of a pew, if you can, so that you can take the kid to the back quickly. There is no reason to be embarrassed about having to quiet your child. Take the child to the back of the church immediately. It is worse to allow them to disturb others during Mass.
WHAT TO DO
Prepare your offering before Mass. Christ tells us not to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing when you make your offering. Keeping the basket while you get your wallet out can be quite a scene.
Digging the basket for change is a big no no. Come to Mass with your offering prepared. It is best not to read the bulletin during the actual Mass. Imagine if you invited a guest to your house and before dinner or during they decided to read a magazine instead of talking to you. Respect the worship. Stand during the gospel reading and other set time during worship.
Kneel at the consecration. It is part of worship. The only exceptions are fir the sick, people with knee problems, aged and those with infants. Bow before receiving Holy Communion. Remember that you are before your Lord, show your respect with a profound bow from the hip. Do not receive from the chalice if you are sick.