I would like to first of all ask you to kindly take some time at end of this post, to share your pleasant or not so pleasant experiences – church hunting or just visiting for the first time.
As a pastor, I don’t get the chance to visit other churches. Simply because I have to attend and lead mine every Sunday.
But from time to time, when I’m away church traveling, I put it on the top of my list.
It is at this time that I feel how uncomfortable it is for people looking for a new church or just visiting one.
To say the least, my last two visits were really bad. I was in Nashville, Tennessee visiting a church and almost felt invisible. It wasn’t that people weren’t talking among themselves, it seemed like they were too focused on who they knew.
I stood alone for about 15 minutes just next to the pastor who briefly looked at me, than turned away and continue talking with this group of five guys.
After Church, I sat for a few minutes hoping some would at least personally ask me my name, where I was from and if they could help me get connected to their community.
To be honest, at one point during the service, I was given a lot of info about how to connect. Even though, I had already made up my mind that this was a church I would never visit again, I was still hopeful that wasn’t going to lunch all by myself. So I sat there waiting for an invitation. But it never came.
What if churches intentionally created a culture of hospitality, and environment that made visitors feel welcome?
What if, as Church members, we made it our duty to step outside our clicks and infinity groups and actually welcome new people into your circles?
Southwest airline was in the news lately. According to Forks Magazine, a ton of people are celebrating and sharing their enthusiasm flying with Southwest.
For Southwest, this is not happening by chance. It is happening because the company has taken the time to instilled in every employee three values:
a warrior spirit
a servant’s heart
a fun-loving attitude (the way Southwest spells “love”)
What if churches, churches leaders, congregants had a warrior spirit – not afraid or shy to step across the room and make someone feel welcome and comfortable in church.
What if churches, churches leaders, congregants had Servants’ heart that did everything to put others first? What if they had deep empathy – not that fake smile that strangers usually give as they walk past other strangers?
What if churches, churches leaders, congregants had a fun-loving attitude that didn’t take themselves too seriously?
What if churches, church leaders, congregants had genuine and authentic love and friendship? What if they were Christ centered, gospel oriented and Holy Spirit empowered?
I think we will all have phenomenal churches. What about you? Unfortunately, only a few churches are doing exceptionally well in this area.
If Southwest can do it, I don’t understand why every church is not doing it. This stuff originates with us. We are the role model.
I value your opinion.
Thanks for the feedback!
From Walter with luv…