Part of the goal of reviewing your church hospitality systems is to remove potentially awkward events that might cause the church visitor to feel singled out or overlooked.
I was the mystery visitor to a nearby church at the request of the pastor.
I was free to pick any Sunday I chose and not let anyone know of my visit ahead of time.
We visited the church on a bright summer Sunday morning.
We arrived 10 minutes late.
When we opened the sanctuary doors, we discovered it had been darkened like a movie theatre is before the film begins.
The bright light behind us invaded the intentionally darkened space.
It felt like 200 heads turned from the stage to see who the latecomer was.
On top of that, our eyes didn’t not adjust quickly enough.
This meant we stood there for several seconds, waiting to accustom ourselves to the room and find a vacant seat.
There were no greeters, no ushers, or any kind of volunteer to help us.
This church practiced the custom of “passing of the peace,” that brief time in the service where many people try to greet as many people as possible in a limited amount of time.
However, this church took a usual 3-5 minute time and turned it into 10 minutes, so that members of the church could visit with their friends, catch up on the news, etc.
We watched as members
- caught up with each other,
- checked in on how the family is doing,
- discuss the upcoming sporting event
- planned upcoming meetings.
All of this meant that no one noticed us as visitors to their church
We sat in our seat for what felt like an awkward eternity, waiting for this to be over.
I caught up with the pastor a few weeks later to share my experiences with him.
We brainstormed ways to help make sure these embarrassing moments don’t happen to another church visitor.
It was a great review for the pastor and by the time we finished, he found ways to remove those potential embarrassments from the experience of the visitors to their church.
Want to remove more friction?
Read about the ebook that I sell on this website. Â You can read more about How to Welcome Church Visitors Â here.