Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry

SOME CASUAL CHURCH OBSERVATIONS

Recently I was asked what important church attributes I look for when I visit a church for the first time. I thought the question was interesting, even arresting. Allow me to share a few quick responses to the inquiry.

  • My first concern is with the parking lot. Is it heavily crowded? Lots of vehicles in evidence? Yet, more importantly, is there a place where I can comfortably and quickly park my car?
  • Am I greeted when I enter the church facility? By at least one person? Is the greeting warm and casual without giving the sense of being smothering?
  • Does the service begin on time? Not three minutes or ten minutes beyond the starting gate, but promptly at the scheduled time? I and many others are most conscious of time in this clock driven age.
  • As the service flows is it smooth without notable gaps that create serious distractions? Each aspect of the service should take place without long walks to the podium, or, significant lapses. Special announcements in the middle of a service is one intrusion in worship time that can be annoying.
  • Is the music worshipful and does it contribute appropriately to the days service direction and theme. Style of music is not as important as what the music contributes to a meaningful worship experience. Is the music sensitive to a variety of worship needs.
  • Preaching is something I also note. Is the preaching biblical with effective present day application. Does the sermon presentation touch me at various levels. Is too much negativity present in the sermon? Am I challenged to do something with what I’ve heard?
  • The nursery and children’s ministry during the worship time is also crucial. Is the nursery clean, efficient, and well staffed with cheerful and clean looking workers? Is there a well prepared church experience for older children?
  • What ages are represented in the service? Is everyone older? Younger? In mid-age? Or, is there a good sprinkling of various ages present? Are there persons present with whom I could quickly identify? But I also need connections with all ages, not just my own age group.
  • Is there a kingdom mentality that permeates the service. Or, is it a church that’s focused on us, with our selfish interests and wants?
  • Am I being pushed and prodded to provide extra information about myself? Is there a concern with hooking me up quickly to become a member of this church? Or, do they warmly welcome me and encourage me to return?
  • Does the service end on time? Or, is it a service that seems to have no end in view? Lengthy services that are not conscious of time restraints are a serious problem in this age.

These are just a few of my responses to an initial visit to a church. I hope these help answer the inquiry. But what are your thoughts and experiences?

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January 31, 2013 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, God, Preaching, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spirituality | Leave a comment