Thoughts from First Time Guests

The following thoughts are based upon follow-up conversations with real, first-time guests (using fictitious names):

~ Dave & Rachel: married, early 30’s with newborn

I know the bathroom was clearly marked but when I walked in there were so many walking around knowing where they were going. Some smiled at me, other stopped to ask my name. It was a friendly church. If someone would have shown me around (child care rooms, bathrooms, auditorium) I think it would have helped set my mind at ease.

~ Tom & Olivia: early 60’s, retired couple, relocated to the area to be closer to their grandchildren

We’ve been in church most of our married life after getting saved after our first child. We loved your church, the preaching and teaching. One thing that’s obvious is that your church family seems to be extremely close. Will we be able to make friends, close friends, after we’ve become members?

~ Jennifer: single mom of two teens, mid-40’s

I know churches are supposed to be accepting of everyone, but I feel awkward whenever I attend. I haven’t always made the best decisions, but I want my kids to grow up having a real relationship with God. Here are some thoughts about my visit: The pastor’s message is always a help, but sometimes I feel like people don’t know how to include me. I don’t know if I can afford the Christian school, will my kids be accepted?

follow-up thoughts:

Story 1:

Friendliness is a great first step to a first time guest. Slowing down and walking a guest through the process of a visit can be a huge relief. Walk them to the child-care areas. Show them the restrooms. Walk them into the auditorium. Offer for them to sit near you to help relieve any potential uncomfortable situations.

Story 2:

Again, friendliness is a huge, first time step toward welcoming guests, but stories like this reveal that friendliness is not the end goal, but rather assimilating guests into our church family is the goal.

Story 3:

What overcomes awkwardness? Authenticity. Humility. Grace. Cultivating these biblical characteristics in your life will expand your ministry and by God’s grace will expand your church’s ministry to groups who are hurting for whatever reasons. People with different backgrounds in life don’t need those highlighted. They need included and shown care just like anyone else.

One Response

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rob Campbell, Joel Mosier. Joel Mosier said: New blog post: Thoughts from First Time Guests […]

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