Culled from “10 Statements Church Visitors Never Want to Hear” – Ben Reed
You’ve been a church visitor at some point, right? Ever heard something you wish you didn’t hear, right off the bat? I’ve got a few that nobody really wants to hear. Some I’ve heard personally. Others I’ve heard as they were told to someone else.
10 Statements Church Visitors Never Want to Hear…(Actually, Here’s our favorite 7)
1. Our pastor isn’t normally this _____.
Insert whatever you want in this blank: loud, obnoxious, offensive, long-winded. If you have to explain part of your pastor’s style because you know that outsiders won’t like it, you’ve got a problem. Talk with your pastor about that.
2. We’re full. Sorry.
Always have a backup plan. Always. If someone sees that your service is full once, they’ll deal with it. But they probably won’t come back if they don’t see a plan you have in place.
3. What are YOU doing here?
Never say this. Never. Your shocked, open mouth reveals your judgmental spirit…at least in the eyes of visitors. When you say this, all they can think is, “God couldn’t really love someone like you.”
4. You can’t serve now…you’ve got to be a member first.
Why would someone want to become a member if they’ve never had the chance to serve?
5. What’s your address? I didn’t catch it on the first 6 forms I had you fill out.
Try to streamline the “first time visitors check-in process.” Nobody likes to feel like they’re visiting HR on their first church visit.
6. You want to join a small group? You’ll have to wait until next Fall.
If you ask people to wait more than a month to join community, they’ll often look elsewhere.
7. Here we just care about the Truth. If you don’t like it, you can leave.
8. Next time, could you make sure to wear _____.
Fill that in with “something nicer,” “something more relaxed,” or “something that’s clean,” and you’ve offended someone unnecessarily. Creating a “come as you are” culture should be our aim, not creating a “come as I am” culture.