Friday, November 16, 2007

Observations of a Visitor

I and my family have been visiting different churches lately. What is interesting is what is consistent and different between different churches—whether restorationist or not.

Churches that are growing and welcoming have these in common:
  • They all think about a visitor's experience when they come through the door. What I mean is that when I walk in as a stranger, there is somebody there to welcome me and guide me. They even anticipate my needs as a family man, like showing me where my kids go, and what's offered for them.
  • They have a greeters station or desk, with more than one person and orientation literature, and ability to guide.
  • They have a plan for growth. They don't believe that growth just happens because they exist. They build, plan, structure, and communicate with the intention of growing.
  • They are clear about what they are about, and they communicate it clearly.
  • They have a process of growth from visitor to committed member. It isn't taken for granted, and members must agree with the non-negotiable doctrine the church affirms. Yet, there is room to sincerely disagree with negotiable doctrine. Either way it is clear what is negotiable and what is non-negotiable.
  • They respect leadership. They don't allow anyone to lead ministries without being a committed member, demonstrating a character of biblical wisdom, nor having the maturity and giftedness to lead a particular ministry. There is a process in place to nurture leaders.
  • Their small groups are strategic, rather than self-existing. They support the church's mission and strategic approach.

What do you think? Have you seen this too?

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