Our family visited church for the first time, where we showed up unannounced and uninvited.
We found this church by driving past the sign on the street and choosing to visit.
A Cross Cultural Church Visitor Experience
This time, we chose to visit an immigrant Spanish language church.
We had no problem finding our way to the sanctuary, or even navigating the parking lot. Signs were clear and the lighting was adequate as we attended this evening service.
The church had small attendance, so we were quickly recognized as first time church visitors.
I am not Latino, so I stood out as the only Caucasian in the whole place.
Several people promptly greeted us. The took the initiative and offered a hand shake and engaged us in conversation.
Each conversation went beyond the formulaic exchange of a simple hello. In fact, each person took a small interest in who we were, asking questions about us.
After several minutes, even the pastor came and introduced himself to us. He sat down to talk with us for a few minutes before the service.
As the only church visitors that Sunday, the pastor publicly welcomed us in the service, but he did not ask us to stand or share a story, or anything like that.
He shared with the church simple information like what country we were from and what our ministry was about.
After the service, more people came to us to shake our hands and let us know they would like to see us return if we were available. We felt as if we were being welcomed into the family.
- Take the initiative to greet.
- Don’t embarrass your church guest.
- Make small talk about your guest, not about your church programs.