I’m taking a little down time this week, including a brief blogging break. Meanwhile, I’m reaching back into the archives for posts that even I forgot I’d written. (Feel free to insert your own “forgettable” burn here.) This post originally appeared in September 2013.
What do people assume about your church at first glance?
I’m not talking about your building, your property, or your curb appeal. No, when people park their cars and approach the front door, what would they assume by the team that greets them?
Based on the people you’ve placed on the outside of the building, your first time guests will make some immediate assumptions:
- There’s no one here my age.
- No one looks like me.
- I’m underdressed.
- I’m overdressed.
- I don’t have anything in common with these people.
I believe that the church should be a reflection of the community. It should contain the same economic diversity, skin hues, and educational breakdowns as the city in which it lives. But I also believe that the guest services team on the outside should serve as a precursor to who is inside.
Is your church multi-generational? Then don’t staff your front door with all twenty-somethings. Or all eighty-somethings.
Is your church multi-cultural? Then make sure your parking team isn’t filled with caucasians in orange vests.
Does your church have a diversity of educational and vocational backgrounds? Then your sidewalk should be filled with greeters who are professors, plumbers, lawyers, and laborers.
Is your church filled with people who dress up as well as those who dress down? Then encourage your team to show up in suits and shorts, in dresses and denim.
This takes intentionality. It may take some uncomfortable conversations, It will definitely take some growing pains and uphill battles. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it for your guests. It’s worth some of your initial discomfort for their long term comfort. It’s worth it so they can know at a glance who your church is and whether or not they can feel at home.
How do you best represent your church before people ever walk through the doors? Comment below.