hints-visitng-churches

I’ve been on the road a bit more than usual. My job as CEO of LifeWay requires that I spend most of my time in Nashville, but I do get out to speak and preach frequently. These past seven months have been unusually heavy travel times for a myriad of reasons, but I have tried to make the most of my trips.

Though I’ve not been a church consultant for several years, I do seem to see churches through consultant’s eyes. That reality has been especially apparent as I visited many churches during the past seven months. So, even if I am the guest preacher, I enter the church grounds as a guest. I drive my own rental car, and I have to find parking and entrances just like everyone else.

So what have I found these past seven months? I could give you a fairly extensive consultation report about the churches, but I prefer to distill my words into just a few helpful hints. Each of these issues clearly needed addressing in most of the churches I visited.

  1. Please have plentiful signage on the outside and inside. You can easily forget that we first-time guests don’t have a clue where to park or where to enter. Most of the churches did not help us either. In one church the signage was so bad, I was uncertain if I was still on church property. Take another look at all your signage from the perspective of a first-time guest.
  2. Many of your websites are terrible. Please make them user friendly. I want to see the worship times clearly on the home page. I want to be able to find the church’s physical address. I want to know what the church believes. I found out a lot more about potluck meals and senior trips than I did doctrine and worship times. Most of the websites were designed for those who knew a lot about the church.
  3. Show me where guests park. I recently humorously chastised a pastor for not having parking spots for guests. He thought he had me when he took me to a place that had 12 guests parking places. I then asked him how a first-time guest would locate these spots. His meager response was telling: “Oh.”
  4. Most of us will need to find a restroom. Please make them clear and obvious. Okay, that especially applies to someone my age. It seems like, in many churches, we have hidden restrooms so well that even Indiana Jones couldn’t find them. I am thankful for a church member who gave me clear directions to the restroom; I just wish it had been the men’s room.
  5. Show me how to follow along in the Bible. I am the exception among most guests in that I always bring a Bible. But I watch preachers closely as they begin to preach from a particular biblical text. Very few told me to turn to a pew Bible. Some did put the text on the screen; that was helpful. Most made little effort to help guests follow along with the specific passage that was being preached.
  6. Help me to know how to connect to a small group. You will likely lose members who attend worship only. You will likely keep those members who are in small groups or Sunday school classes. It’s that important. Since it’s that important, it should be mentioned in every worship service, particularly for first-time guests. It was mentioned in only two worship services of the churches I attended over the past seven months.
  7. Help me know how to join the church. As a first time guest, it is not likely I will join the church my first visit. But I do want to know how someone joins the church. I would like to know the process for membership. I only heard that information from one of the churches I visited.

Though I became a bit road weary, I loved my recent excursions to churches ranging from 80 in attendance to megachurches. Indeed, I do love local churches. But many of them could make it a little easier and a little more pleasant next time I visit—or, more importantly, the next time someone from their community visits.

What do you think of my seven hints? Are they helpful? What would you add?

Does Your Church Need to Go to the Next Level? Is Your Church Sick or Dying?

Enter your name and email address below to find out more about my new video series and receive a FREE eBook: 114 Things You Need to Know About Revitalizing Churches.

Comments

  1. says

    Dr. Rainer,
    Number 5 is so important in our day. It does little good to criticize biblical illiteracy then act as if it does not exist in reality. The entire church along with guests would be helped if the pastor would simply and regularly explain the Old/New Testament divisions, the easiest way to find the book (“Start in the back and come forward a few pages…”) or just take a few minutes to lead everyone through the index. Everyone would be better off in the long term.

    Related to that is dropping jokes like “Turn to 2 Opinions” or “You know, Genesis, Exodus, Proverbs…” when people do not always know where the books are located. Making them feel dumb is not the best strategy for having them return for more visits.

    • Thom Rainer says

      Well said Marty. Unfortunately, this issue is rarely addressed in any circles. I became keenly aware of the need with my last rounds of heavy travel.

    • says

      Excellent point! In our church we often tell visitors that they shouldn’t feel ashamed to bring a Bible to church (or downloading a Bible app for their smart phone), and that unless they have grown up in a church, most people have a hard time finding a Bible verse. We tell them that when they’re just getting started with the Bible, the Table of Contents will be their best friend. We’ve even encouraged our people to help the visitors they brought with them find the passage. If we can remove some of the fears a person has when visiting a church (such as feeling “exposed” as outsiders), they will be more willing to hang around and truly listen to the Message.

  2. says

    We purchase hardback pew Bibles, Encourage guests to follow along in the Scripture and offer the Pew Bible as a gift for them to take home- Also it is easy to reference the page number- as opposed to book and verse for those unfamiliar with the Bible. I can still hear Jerry Falwell- turn in your Faith Partner Bible to page 659- A simple but effective lesson I still use.

  3. says

    Dr. Rainer:

    This is a good example of why I keep coming back to your site. This is the perfect blend of information that is practical and helpful (numbers 1-4) along with information that reminds us that we want to see people join and participate so they can grow (numbers 6-7) and a pointer into what this is really all about Christ as revealed in His Word (number 5). And most of these are tips that a church can implement immediately without much in the way of effort or expense.

    While not all of these apply to the church where I serve (thankfully), some do. Even if none applied, it’s a good reminder to try to see things through the eyes of those who will attend church, many of whom don’t know what they need or are looking for, and some of whom may simply walk out when we make things harder than they need to be.

    Thanks for sharing these insights with pastors like me. Blessings on you and your ministry.

    Michael R. Jones

    • Thom Rainer says

      Michael –

      You are a great encourager! Thank you for your kind words. I am humbled to have readers like you on this blog. Thanks for making ThomRainer.com such a great community.

  4. says

    Great List Thom!

    My wife and I over the past few weeks have noticed that there is never information or someone to give information on the children’s ministry. Things like where do you sign up the kids, when do they go, where do they go, will someone come and get us if there is a problem or does a number appear on the screen etc.

  5. says

    Thanks for another great post, Dr. Rainer. It is said how little time we spend thinking about what visitors see and hear on their first visit, and how easy or difficult this information will be for them to quickly understand.

    I can’t help but think that one of the reasons we give this so little consideration is that we quit expecting visitors to show up.

    Anyway, thanks for the work, Brother, helpful as always.

  6. PD says

    I would add, not everyone has a car, if they can add where the nearest bus stop is in conparson to there entrences on there websight, thats very helpful to walkers & bus riders, I have been in hundreds of churchs & only 1 ever offered that info. also if there was more out reach to those that may be homebound, were in the age of teck but very few offer online sermons with any feed back options or interaction. Due to health issues I have been a shutin (unable to leave my house) for 2 years now & very much miss church & asking questions & interacting, the only online churches I have found were not in my state let alone in my naborhood so there was no hope of connecting with them by phone or personal visit.

  7. says

    Dr. Rainer,
    Great job as usual. Regarding #5….we not only have the scripture on the screen, but we ALWAYS let people know that we WANT them to be in the Bible every day….and, we are so committed to that principle, that, if they do not have a Bible of their own, we will GIVE THEM ONE. So far, we have given away around 35 Bibles…..

  8. says

    I recently my watched video of my friend Kay Arhur as she was speaking to thousands at Liberty University. After being introduced, Kay said: “Open your Bibles or take your cell phones and go to—(the passage she was using). As a long time friend, just a year ago, we were told to “turn off our cellphones” before Kay came out to lecture. Times are a’changing.

  9. says

    I have been involved in a number of new church plants over the past 24 odd years. It has become almost second nature for me to size up every new or existing church in the areas that you mention in your article whenever I visit a new or existing church. There are several areas that I also size up which you did not mention.

    How intentionally is the church about creating a friendly, welcoming environments for guests?

    Do church members and regular attenders greet guests, chat with them, and do what they can to make them feel comfortable and welcome? Do they introduce guests to other guests, church members, and regular attenders? Does the welcome they extend appear to be genuine, from the heart, and not artificial or forced?

    Does the church upon inquiry enjoy a reputation of being a friendly and welcoming church in the community or neighborhood? Do its church members and regular attenders (and not just the pastor and other staff) set a high value on being hospitable to “the stranger and sojourner” in their midst? Do they see themselves as representing Christ in showing hospitality to guests and as showing hospitality to Christ whom guests themselves also represent? Are they mindful of what the Bible says about entertaining angels unawares? Do they see each guest as someone that God has sent to their church?

    Do church members and regular attenders pray for those who will be attending the church’s worship gatherings and other functions? Do they pray for their community or neighborhood, for the churched and the unchurched in that community or neighborhood? Do they ask the Holy Spirit to increase in them the gift of hospitality?

    Does the church have a corps of friendly, welcoming greeters who are stationed not only at the entrance to the building but in the parking lot as well as various places in the building? Are the greeters in the parking lot equipped with umbrellas on rainy days? Are there other greeters to take their place while they are walking guests to the building, protecting them from the rain with their umbrellas?

    Does your church make a point of treating everyone as guests—church members and regular attenders as well as first time visitors and other newcomers? Does your church encourage its church members, regular attendees, small group leaders, and ministry volunteers to view Christ as the host, those attending worship gatherings, small group meetings, etc., as His guests, and themselves as His servants extending His welcome to all?

    Does the church have a welcome center located in the lobby of the building or in another space in which people may gather and through which they must pass in order to enter the room in which worship gatherings are held? Does this welcome center serve coffee, bottled water, and other refreshments? At the Journey’s two campuses here in western Kentucky we set up “The Journey Café” every Sunday morning, at the Murray Campus in the lobby in front of the banquet room in which we worship and at the Benton Campus in the room adjoining the auditorium in which the Benton congregation worships. We set out a number of circular tables and chairs at the Murray Campus and serve guests coffee, bottled water, fruit flavorings for the water, and hot chocolate in winter and lemonade in summer. We also serve them granola breakfast bars and fruit, providing them with the ingredients for a light breakfast. In the past we have served donuts, large cookies, and bagels and cream cheese. The Journey also has no prohibition against bringing hot and cold beverages and food from the café in the room where the worship gatherings are held.

    Does the church regularly check with guests to determine their perceptions of the welcome that they receive at the church, rather than relying upon the perceptions of church members and regular attendees of how welcoming the church is?

    Do greeters and other hospitality ministry volunteers monitor what they are saying to avoid saying anything that might put off a guest? I visited one church here in Kentucky to have an usher give me a blow-by-blow description of the church split that had led to establishment of the church. He also wanted to know where I stood on a number of issues that lay behind the split.

  10. says

    Great post, Dr. Rainer.
    I don’t really like the idea of special guest parking. I think that taking spots farther away from the door should be a part of spiritual maturity for members who are able, as we systematically disciple them to place others before themselves. I cannot imagine dedicated parking spaces making much difference (much like the obligatory “welcome to all our visitors”), especially if your entire church is geared to being genuinely welcoming.
    I am wondering about formatting slides on the screen to look more like paper Bibles (maybe mimicking the pew Bibles), so people can become comfortable with looking things up. Has anyone here ever implemented anything like that?
    Also, from my experience with church websites, I think that saying many are terrible is a little too generous.

  11. David Hertweck says

    Great list! I have the opportunity to travel and share similar feedback at time with AG church in NY. One very small and easily fixable thing is that I rarely see pastors and other individuals who make stage announcements introduce themselves. An introduction communicates that the church expects people to be there who don’t know the leaders and lack of introductions make it feel insider-ish. In fact, I usually recommend verbal intros and their names on the screen (including their twitter names!).

    Thanks for this.

  12. says

    All great points. Having been a Baptist minister for over 35 years, I have seen many churches that are not very visitor friendly. Looking for a church to visit on my vacation, I found many church websites gave me little information on the time of the worship services, and directions to the churches. I have been trying to help other churches update their websites by making them easier for guest to find what that need. (Church Website by Max)

  13. says

    Before I became involved in the Journey in Murray. Kentucky, I was involved in another church plant in Waldheim, Louisiana–Hope Church. Our worship gatherings were initially held in a fire station but later we purchased the building of an out-of-business cafe and remodeled it to our needs–an office, a nursery, and a large room that could be used for large and small gatherings. We kept the commercial kitchen. We made it our practice for ministry team volunteers–Nursery, Sunday School, Worship–to park behind the building, leaving the parking in front of the building for visitors. Church members and regular attenders were encouraged to park in the less choice spots, furthest from the building.

    For the past six years the Journey held its worship gatherings at the Baptist Campus Ministry building on the campus of Murray State University. We made it our practice for ministry team members to leave the spaces in the two parking lots closest to the building open for visitors and parked in the two parking lots farthest from the building. This year we are holding our worship gatherings in the same building–the Curris Center–year round, except on those public holidays when the building is closed. Here again its our practice to leave the spaces in the parking lot closest to the building open for visitors and to park on the street behind the building or in a parking lot a short walk from the building.

    At our second campus in Benton ministry team volunteers, church members, and regular attenders park on the sides of the building in which worship gatherings are held. The parking spaces in the front of the building are left open for visitors.

    Formatting screen slides to look like the pages of printed Bibles assumes a familiarity with the Bible which many unchurched persons visiting a church may not have. It also assumes that the church’s meeting place has pews and pew Bibles. At the Journey the worshipers sit on stacking chairs. Those worshipers who have Bibles brought them from home. A number of worshipers use electronic Bibles rather than paper ones.

    At Hope Church the worshipers sat on folding chairs when we worshiped in the fire station. Here again the worshipers who had Bibles had brought their Bibles with them.

    At the Journey the assumption is that a typical visitor is not familiar with the Bible. The words of a passage are shown on a large screen TV and a book, chapter and verse reference is given for those worshipers who brought a Bible with them. The preacher will briefly point out to the congregation where the particular book may be found in the Bible. The worshipers are told not to worry if they did not bring a Bible with them. The words of the passage will be shown on the TV screen for them. The slides are formatted to make them easy read and understand. Our goal is to “create a church that the unchurched love to attend.” We try to keep barriers and obstacles to their attendance at a minimum.

  14. says

    In my last comment I neglected to mention that the Journey used the Baptist Campus Ministry building as a meeting place in the summer. We used the Curris Center during the rest of the year.

  15. PT says

    This is helpful but I’m curious how many church plants or churches that meet is rented spaces you visited. Our church is in a rented facility and so three of your four suggestions are difficult or impossible options for us but they’re still helpful as we consider things like greeting ministry.

    • says

      PT. Are you referring to the suggestions in Thom Rainer’s article or in my comments. If it was my comments, all the church plants in which I have been involved initially used rented facilities–a tennis clubhouse, an office building, a storefront, a maritime museum conference room, and a fire station. The Journey uses rented space at the Curris Center on the campus of the Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky and a center for the developmentally disabled in Benton, Kentucky. We used the Baptist Campus ministry building only during the summer. The Journey does “church in a box” or out of a box. We set up and tear down every Sunday–Worship Gathering, Children’s Ministry, Journey Cafe, Nursery. On Sunday evenings we also offer Ignite, a youth church for teenagers, at a third location. It is also a rented facility. Our Life Teams, which is what we call our small groups, meet in private homes. We have no building of our own and having a building of our is not part of our vision. We practice the principles that Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger outline in their book Simple Church. Making devoted followers of Jesus is our central focus and everything we do serves this focus. If something does not not, we do not do it.

      Everything that Thom Rainer suggests in his article and I suggest in my comments can be done in a new church plant using rented facilities. A church does not need a building of its own to benefit from Thom Rainer’s helpful hints or my suggestions. Some new churches develop what may be described as an “if we only had building of our own” complex. This can become a serious impediment to its ministry.

  16. jonathon says

    I’ve run into so many websites with the wrong address for the church, that I now call the church to verify where and when they meet. Even more websites display the wrong phone number for the church.

    I call the phone number on the website and:
    * No answer. No answering machine. No voice mail;
    * Voicemail/answering machine: The outgoing announcement is unintelligible;
    * Voicemail/answering machine: The outgoing announcement does not state where or when services are held;
    * Voicemail/answering machine: The announcement is in English, but describes their program for speakers of a minority language. Eventually, the service times are given, emphasising that the service is for speakers of that minority language. Great for those that are fluent in English and the minority language. Not very useful for those who speak the minority language, but not English;
    * I leave a voice mail requesting a verification that the service is at the place and time stated on the website. No call back ever came;
    * I talk to somebody at the phone number for the church, but they don’t know where, or when the services are held!

    For those leaving outgoing announcement on the church phone:
    * Speak slowly and clearly;
    * Give the date and time of the services;
    * Provide information about church services in the language that the service is in:
    + “Существует церковной службы в десять утра в России.”
    + “There is an English language service at nine AM.”
    * Pause for two or three seconds, when changing languages;

    (Don’t blame me for the bad Russian. I used Google translate.)

  17. says

    Great article and comments.

    I think many churches don’t really expect guests, so not much is done to prepare for them. If we prayed with expectancy for God to send us folks who need Christ, or new members to disciple and serve, we’d have an eager, well-informed greeter at every door, and in the parking lot. I recall a church I attended whose members had stickers with the church logo on their car window. If a vehicle came in without a stiicker, that alerted greeters that a new person was attending.

    As for small groups that are supposed to be Bible studies, many have become mostly fellowship times coupled with an elongated prayer list, and perhaps 15-20 minutes of Bible study quickly consolidated at the end. For guests, this can definitely make them feel like outsiders.

    I recall something I learned at a conference years ago that has stuck with me: the important difference between the words “guests” and “visitors”. It’s more than semantics. A city’s “Visitor’s Center” is basically for those who are just passing through…”Enjoy your stay; glad you stopped by!” Think about opening your home: do you entertain “visitors” or “guests”? In our church home, welcoming guests instead of “those visiting with us today” has a much warmer ring to it.

    We want to be sure to get contact info from guests, and there are various ways to do it. But one way I don’t recommend is this: “We ask that if you are our guest today, please remain seated, as our members stand in your honor.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather raise my hand to signify that I’m new than to awkwardly stay seated and look at a bunch of behinds!

  18. Crystal says

    I would also add for churches to not assume that visitors (or members for that fact) have been raised in the church. Address the basics and make sure they are understood. Recently a friend asked someone WHY they are a Christian or WHY they go to church and people couldn’t answer outside their parents teaching/example. I have seen several churches that assume that everyone in their building has been in church their whole lives and knows all the stories and all the basics. Good tips, some of them I wouldn’t have thought of!

  19. Robert Noble says

    Make sure members know that there is no assigned seating. There are few things that embarrass a guest more than being asked to move because “these are our seats.”

  20. says

    I would add (believe it or not), “Pastors, greet your visitors.” I can’t believe how many small churches I’ve visited in which the pastor was too shy (or aloof, or whatever) to get to know me! Makes you wonder….

  21. Randle says

    These days a high percentage of those that visit websites visit them on tablets or mobiles. A website should consider this by having a responsive design (one that changes based on screen size). Otherwise a website that appears great on a laptop can be impossible on a mobile. That means if your website is adobe flash – you need a new website.

    • Randle says

      A further comment: WordPress templates are the way to go for a cheap, user friendly, responsive design

  22. Wade Howell says

    While I understand the need for simplicity in Church, this article, like many articles about churches is focused on visitors/guests and seems to take the approach that it is normal for them to simply arrive at a worship service. But a weekly worship service is not for visitors and guests, it is for the local church. My experience in SBC churches is that we have mini-crusade meetings on a weekly basis rather than a gathering of the local church for worship.
    My concern with the article is an implicit assumption that someone coming to the worship service will be alone. If we are reaching into our communities, then we will be bringing people with us to services and activities at the our church and as individuals we will be a guide to help them with whatever they need. Unfortunately, we treat our weekly gathering to worship as a place where people might just show up, out of the blue, or because they saw an add somewhere.
    We treat our worship services like they are for anyone, they should be for the Church (the local body of believers) to worship God. Worship services should not be “for” visitors. I am not saying that a worship service should exclude visitors/guests but it should be geared for the local body of believers.
    Wal-Mart needs to clearly label each section with the items it contains and have large visible signs identifying the restrooms because Wal-Mart is designed to have people come in off the street by themselves to search and find out what they have available.
    I think the Church should be more intimate than that. Churches should resemble our homes more than Wal-Mart. We don’t need marketing, flashing signs, and weekly flyers advertising specials when we invite friends to our home. In our homes, we invite people in that we have a relationship with and we show them around and make them feel comfortable. You can’t come into my home anonymously, see if you like it, then ask to sign up. In my home you have to be invited and whether you stay or not depends on how you interact with the family who already lives there. Maybe one of our problems is that our churches look/act more like the mall or a supermarket than they look/act like a church that Paul would have visited.
    Having said all of this, I do not have any problems with the suggestions in the article. I do think, however, that we have a mindset more geared to retail marketing than Christian community.

    • Steve says

      Wade–
      I understand some of what you are saying but am not certain that would be right for all churches. Fortunately, there is diversity in the Body of Christ for different strategies. The Church should definitely be focused upon the needs of the lost. If that means bringing them to the church to be saved, that is a strategy many have chosen. Taken to an extreme, the worship services could become so “seeker friendly’ that they omit most of the challenging ponts of the gospel, i.e. repentance from sin, and become focused upon getting a “decision”. The messages don’t progress beyond the basic understanding and maturity seems to suffer, so that the body becomes very shallow. On the other end, we don’t want to view the seeker as an intruder in our midst who has entered univited into our “holy place”. If our worship times are more exclusive, focusing upon the deeper truths of the scriptures, then I would hope we balance with a gospel outreach and are inviting new believers to join regularly. Nothing seems to be as contrary to the gospel message as an exclusive, ingrown fellowship that seeks to exclude those outside the “club”. Or as Jesus said, no one lights a lamp and then puts it under the basket, but instead puts it on the lamp stand so it can give light to the whole house. If the local body is being led by the Head, it will show love to its community and will desire to make visitors feel like wanted guests, or even like part of the family.

    • says

      Wade, I kinda feel like you live in a dream world where things oughta be a certain way, but you’re ignoring the way things are. Putting up signage doesn’t make us like Wal-Mart any more than putting a couch in the foyer will make my church building look like a home. If I have visitors come, who weren’t invited personally, they need to know where the restrooms are and how to find out about small groups etc. Its being a good host.
      Sure, I’d like for the members to invite folks and be their guides, but are we to turn away those that come in because they are looking for a church?
      I’d like to live in a world where folks can walk to church, and invite a neighbor along the way. I haven’t seen that world since reruns of Leave it to Beaver.
      I don’t have signage at my house because I’m not encouraging visits by strangers. But if I had a stranger visit who needed a restroom, I could tell them where it is very simply. At church, there could be 5, 10, or 20 guests who need to know. Signs are a respectful way to try to communicate with people.
      I agree that we should bring people, but I don’t what that has to do with this article.

      • Lloyd says

        In the past two weeks we have had guests from out of town and out of state. I was thrilled to see them but will most likely never see them again as they were on vacation and just “passing through”. I hope that they felt welcome and that they will have fond memories of the visit. One couple came before members were there to show them around. The others came too late, arriving shortly before worship began. All seven points were very relevant in these cases. I look for new faces every week and not just home folk. So I want to be ready when they come.

  23. Beverley says

    Thanks for sharing your observation with us. I’m going to use these to check how our church is doing and try to implement or upgrade the suggestions.

    Blessings!!

  24. says

    These are great points and thought provoking. I have much more aware of visitors at our church lately. My husband and I usher and we have been trying to be more diligent about directing people to where the service is held, the restrooms, etc. But I think we need to even do more after reading your post.:-)

    Since we do church website design, we have spent a lot of time looking at other church websites, and I agree, that many don’t make it easy to find out where they are located or when their services are. This has to be on the homepage, easy to see.

    Websites are fast becoming the first “greeting” a potential has to the church, so we need to be strategic about setting them up make it easy for people to find the information they need.

    Thanks for sharing all this.

  25. says

    Very helpful. Forwarding the link to all our staff. Providing clear directions (including to restrooms) shouts out: “You matter to us!”
    We’d love to have you drop by to give us a brutal critique if you’re in the Myrtle Beach area.
    God’s best to you.

  26. says

    Dr. Rainier,

    Thanks for sharing your finding. You mentioned outside signage. How important is the driveby sign and what are some guidelines if the church were to consider an upgrade to the present main outdoor driveby sign ?
    Thanks
    Howard Fuller

    • Thom Rainer says

      Howard –

      I don’t have specific guidelines. Look at signs of other churches in the community and evaluate which ones are more effective. Perhaps a team from your church could make these assessments.

  27. Judy says

    If a church needs this list to point these things out, I don’t think it would have much to offer the average person. These are so obvious that it would give me pause to be just another “don’t expect much” small church.

  28. Judy says

    The obvious answer as to why these issues haven’t been fixed at churches-they may be debating such “we have nothing better to do” issues at their democratic business meetings. I lived through churches like this. It seems a certain type of person is attracted to these small, never grow congregations. It seems more important to them to have their say and be on committees, than reaching people for Christ and discipling believers. It is tough to hear but reality.

  29. Lloyd says

    Well, guess I needed to read this. I’m guilty of so much that is listed. Wednesday evening will be the beginning of change. We need better signage, guest parking, website, Scripture location… WOW!

  30. Scott Andrews says

    I am amazed at how few churches post their service times outside. How am I supposed to know when to show up? And if I should assume, and plan on arriving at 10:30 and the service started at 10:00 I’m sure not coming in if I’m going to draw attention to myself by being late! It seems that this is one of the most obvious, and easily correctable “sins.”

  31. Scott Andrews says

    I’m amazed at the number of churches that don’t post the times of their services. How am I supposed to know when to show up?

  32. Lyn Brown Farris says

    I frequently find myself wondering after a scripture was read, what the scripture was. And when I hear a song I like, but it isn’t in the book, I wonder what the name of the song is so I can find it again and learn it. And when someone reads a wonderful illustration, I wish I could get a copy. So, I wish such information was made available somewhere – a bulletin, board posting, online, whatever. Thank you, this was a helpful article.

  33. says

    when I got born again off the streets of California I was 21 years old. I did not go to church ever growing up. I was not looking for jesus at all. I was invited by someone on a Tuesday night I was on drugs and living for the world never thought about god the bible or church. that night when jesus saved me one of the first sign I was born again was I could not put my bible down every word and page came alive I carried it every were told peole about what happen that night to work walking down the street. its been 13 years and ive attented a lot of churches and I noticed a lot do not bring there bibles to church .this last year I have been attending a seeker church and they have 5 churches they have planted all under the same name many of the people do not bring there bibles every sunday over a 1000 people attend saterday and sunday. how do the people know if there being lead in truth ??????? its like showing up to college with no books no pen no paper and assume whats being given is what they need to grow..it really concerns me

  34. says

    My dear beloved brother Thome S . Mainer in Christ Love,
    My advance Christmas greetings to you and your family and all your ministry team in the mighty name of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.
    Brother, my name is pastor. N.John, SCG Ministry from India, Mi ministry team is every time going to village to village and door to door preaching the word of Lord Jesus Christ, we are working very well in our area, but we are all very poor and getting financial problems, so brother i request you to please pray for us and remember us in all your prayers, i request you this good time please arranged your Christmas gift for New clothes for orphan children and poor widows,
    and brother i request you to please come to our place and visit my area and see my work, i arranged some meetings in my ministry congregation, and open air meetings, and pastors Conferences, so brother please write me your thoughts in your reply, i am waiting for your kind reply, Praise the Lord.
    Thanking you brother
    Pastor. N.John,
    India

Trackbacks

  1. [...] services, and plan accordingly.  Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, recently shared a list of helpful hints reflecting on his visits to a number of churches over the last seven [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


8 + = ten