Every weekend, you commit a huge sin against those that come into your church: you refuse to think through their experience. You don’t think about where they’ll park, which door they’ll enter, how they’ll find the nursery, or where they’ll sit. You don’t think about their view of the music, their comprehension of the message, or their sense of acceptance.
All of that goes out the window when we do two things on a weekly basis: Stop. Think.
As you’re driving through your parking lot, stop. Think about how accessible it is to your guests. Is the signage clear? Do they know where to go once they park? Have you reserved the best spaces for them?
As you’re walking around your campus, stop. Think about what they’ll see. You know that you’ve got a particular door that has never and will never be unlocked, but will they try it…and another one…and another one…and simply get frustrated? Will they know how to find the auditorium? Will they know how to find a restroom?
As you’re sitting in your service, stop. Think about what they’ll hear. Is the music attractive? Is the sermon over their heads? Are you taking time to explain what you think is an already-simple concept? Are your people taking the initiative to talk to people they don’t know?
As you’re listening to the announcements, stop. Think about what you’re communicating. Sure, most of your people know that when you invite them to G.O.P.H.E.R. Night, they’ll show up for Good Ol’ Praise Hymns & Evangelistic Renewal. But your guests don’t know why you’ve named an event after a rodent…or what it stands for…or why they’d want to come.
As you’re thinking through your systems and processes, stop. Think about the flow of the morning. If you’re going to ask everyone to fill out a form, then you need to hand out pens. If you’re going to direct them to a next step, then you need to have a visual cue (slide, video, handout) to go along with what they’re hearing. If you’re going to offer to pray for anyone with a special need, then you’d better have prayer counselors at the ready.
What is it you need to stop and think about this weekend? Where does this principle commonly get violated at your church? Comment below.