Therein lies the problem with most churches. Churches perceive they are a friendly church because the members are friendly to one another. But they don’t think about walking in the shoes of first-time guests. They don’t look at their facilities, their parking, their website, or their friendliness from a guest perspective.
We learned not to ask church members if their church is friendly to find out if their church really is friendly.
Most church members have forgotten what it’s like to be a first-time guest. They now have established relationships in the church. They love their church. Their biases tell them their church is great.
Thom S. Rainer, Becoming a Welcoming Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2018).
I have just completed a series of lessons based on becoming a welcoming church. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year. Lessons correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines as well as the International Standard Series.