A First Time Guest In 13 Different Churches

I'm a pastor. And because I'm a pastor I spend most of my time and Sundays in my church but when I take a vacation or spend time away on a twelve-week sabbatical as I had recently I visit other churches.  I want to be challenged with strong preaching, be lifted up by powerful worship and be encouraged by other brothers and sisters in Christ.  I enjoy looking around and seeing what other churches are doing and possibly get some ideas for my church context.  That's what I did when I visited thirteen churches over the course of 12 weeks.  

Here are a few things I learned as a first-time guest.  

1.  Easily accessible information about your church online is sooo important.  On several occasions I couldn't find the service times through a Google search or Facebook.  The address and service times for your church are extremely important information that should be highly visible and easily accessible for someone searching your ministry online.
2. Connecting with a first-time guest is important.  I visited different kinds of churches.  In one service I was one of 2500 people, while in another I was one of 6.  I learned that it was easy to stand out and blend in. It was interesting to me that the larger the church, the better chance I had of someone connecting with me.  I'm not talking about the fancy Guest Services ministries of the large church or the sweet older gentleman handing out bulletins and shaking your hand at the door.  I'm talking about the people setting near you initiating a "Hello" or a "Good morning" or a "We're glad you're here."  Those are the ones that really make you feel welcome.  I want to encourage you to do the same in your church this Sunday morning.  It totally makes a difference.  
3. Every church is different.  I know this probably doesn't need to be said but it's true.  Each church I visited was different than the others, but despite the differences they all gathered together for one purpose-to worship the Lord Jesus Christ and that's a beautiful thing.  

Easily accessible information online is so important.
Noticing a guest is important.

Pastor Jamie Tickel
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1 Comment

Guess - July 20th, 2022 at 6:29pm

That is the sign of a good Shepard, looking out for his sheep. Thank-you