One of the joys of life is the making of a new friend. Friendships are life giving, soul inspiring, emotion balancing, love giving gifts from one person to another. By God’s grace we have lifetime friends who add to our journey more than we can put into words.
A weekend service, for many folks, is the first step toward the establishing of new friendships. It is in the weekend worship experience where we find high quality potential friends. “Pastor Kent, I come here to find quality Christian friends. I know what kind of friends I can make on Friday at midnight at the club. I want godly, Christian friends!”
Yet, it is easy for us to give to our guests everything except the friendship they have come to find. We plan diligently to give a worship experience, a prayer time, and a sermon. However, in the midst of the worship, prayer, and message, we must learn to offer our friendship.
The following list is from Mel and Steve’s blog. From the author’s perspective, these are the top fifteen reasons a guest to a weekend worship experience may not return for a second time.
1. No welcome from the parking lot to the pews.
2. Finding the right door to sanctuary appeared difficult.
3. People in the pews held on to their “good seats.”
4. Too many “churchy insider words” like doxology and introit
throughout the worship experience.
5. No safe, clean nursery for the babies and toddlers.
6. No sincere greeting extended by pastors or members.
7. No warmth or hospitality extended.
8. Missing joy and a spiritual atmosphere.
9. No sense of family in the church community.
10. Very limited reaching out to outsiders or strangers.
11. Very few ministries or activities for youth or children.
12. Public recognition of guests that left them feeling
13. Appears to be no vision or purpose for the congregation.
14. On Sunday morning, members and ushers seem focused on
“member only” conversations.
15. No one invited them back.
Which of these do we do well? Which do we need to significantly improve?