Have you ever gone to your church, stepped back (metaphorically) and imagined what it would be like to be there as someone who does not know the church or any church or even any knowledge of Christianity?
What would you experience? Would you know where to park even before you got in the building? If you are welcomed would you be informed of what you need to know about where to sit, what to do and even where to go to the toilet? We don’t often think of that but buildings used by the public usually have toilets signposted, it is less embarrassing that having to ask someone where to go.
Then during the service, would you know when to sing, when to sit down, why should you say amen if you are supposed to say it, who is Reg who is not well, where is Ezekiel, and how can an anchor be in the veil and someone be a Lion and the Lamb?
We might say there are rarely if ever visitors to our church so there is no need to. But what does that say about our church?
Paul assumes there are unbelievers and inquirers present in worship in 1 Corinthians 14 v 24. Shouldn’t we?
Even if there are not any visitors present we should be building expectation of regulars who are there that there could and should be people unfamiliar with the church and with the faith there. If there aren’t what are we all doing about it?
Some suggestions for ways your church could start to include are:
- Your welcomers to assume that new people don’t know where to go and what to do practically when they arrive so they can be put at ease.
- Teach and train everyone in church to be a welcomer where they sit i.e. watch out for, welcome and help new people. Include why this is important to do (John 13 v 35) as well.
- Leaders and preachers to explain key words that will be used in songs and that come up in preaching – it is good for all of us to be reminded of what they mean.
- Pray for new people to come and feel at home.
There are more thoughts about including new people in church at: https://www.evangelismcoach.org/category/hospitality/
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