In the context of serious theological discussions, it may seem trivial to write about first impressions of guests when they visit your church. But, if we could understand that a returning guest has more opportunities to hear the gospel and experience Christian love and fellowship, we might take the issue a bit more seriously.
Prior to assuming the presidency of LifeWay, I led a church consulting company. One of our first steps in the consultation was to send one or more first-time guests to the church. Those individuals would then report back to us on their experiences. Many times those we enlisted were unchurched non-Christians. Keep reading
The three questions listed at the conclusion of this article are helpful in applying the insights offered in the article to your particular church. Among the factors that you may want to consider in answering these questions are the community in which your church is located, the culture and subcultures of the community, and the characteristics of your church's ministry target group or groups. All of these factors have bearing on your answer to the first question. While some issues are universal, others are particular to a community, its cultures and subcultures, and a church's ministry target group or groups.