Do they feel welcome and will they come back?

Do they feel welcome?

Welcome Mat

While our ultimate goals is to bring people into relationship with Jesus, a mediate goal should be to get them into our community. In other words, church attendance is not the final goal, but people who attend church are more likely to become disciples of Jesus Christ.

If a person off the street happened to come into your church service, would they feel welcome and would they be likely to come back?


Is your music something that the average non-churched person can identify with? We are not called to follow every whim of the music market. But I do think that we are called to present worship in a way that someone from the surrounding culture can understand. The goal is not perfection or virtuosity, but the worship must be genuine. Do your visitors see that the worship is genuine? Is the style of music off-putting?


Do you present Scripture in a way that someone with no Biblical knowledge can understand? The gospel does not need to be modified or watered down, but it does need to be proclaimed in a way that can be understood. The Apostle Paul is our example in this. Paul used Scripture when speaking to Jews and quoted the Greek poets when speaking with Greeks. He used language that his hearers could understand to present the unchangeable truth of Jesus Christ.


Are you glad to have visitors? If so, do they sense this when you greet them? If someone looks like they’re struggling to figure out where to take their kids, do people recognize this and point them in the right direction? Do you have people available to answer questions about the church? I have visited churches where I was not sure if any knew I was a visitor or cared if I ever returned. This should not be the case.


Do you provide a forum for non-believers or new believers to get questions answered? Do you welcome questions? Or do you give the false impression to your guests that everyone else in the audience is in the know? We all struggle with doubts and questions from time to time. Can we be honest about this with our visitors and provide a way for those doubts to be addressed?

Let’s not play church

If we are not sensitive to the needs of new or prospective disciples then we are failing in our mission. We cannot afford to play church, we are called to be the church. The church is to be a gathering of the redeemed who are active in God’s mission to reconcile the world to himself. If we settle for the church as a social organization we settle for less than what God would have us be.

Jesus told us that the defining characteristic of the the church is to be love. In short, if someone visits your church and does not sense love, then you have failed.

The only proper response to failure is repentance and resolution to do better.