Is your church friendly and welcoming of guests?
Most church-goers feel that they do a good job of welcoming guests but, in reality, there is a lot of room for improvement.
That is the basic premise of Thom Rainer’s new book, Becoming a Welcoming Church. Here he gives practical advice on what to look for and how to become a church that is more welcoming. This isn’t a book about being seeker-sensitive – at no time does Rainer suggest changing the content of our message or our worship to appeal to “outsiders.”
Instead, this is a how-to manual on being more hospitable as a congregation. Rainer writes:
Churches perceive they are a friendly church because the members are friendly to one another. But they don’t think about walking in the shoes of first-time guests. They don’t look at their facilities, their parking, their website, or their friendliness from a guest perspective.
If you are a pastor or a ministry leader in the local church, I would encourage you to pick up this short book and think through the typical guest experience. In fact, this book is for all church members, as each of us should take responsibility for welcoming those who come into our church.
Like it or not, guests are making decisions on whether or not they will return to our church (or any church) based on how welcome they felt when they attended. Let’s commit to removing obstacles where we are able so that people will be encouraged to sit under the ministry of the Word in our church.