I was shocked. The church had a noticeable, distinct, musty odor, but none of the church leaders noticed it. It seems they had lived with it for so long that it no longer caught their attention – even though it almost knocked out anyone who entered the building for the first time.
Because we “regulars” at our churches also sometimes miss the obvious, here are some questions to consider as you go to church this weekend. They’re designed to help you see your church’s facility as a guest might see it:
- Is the church website informative and inviting? That’s one of the first places an unchurched person may learn about your church and its facility. Check it out. Would the site make you want to attend?
- Is the church building easy to find? Forget that you know where it is. Think in terms of a person who’s trying to find it for the first time.
- What first impression does the facility make? Is the church old? new? Is it well-maintained? poorly maintained? Does it suggest care or neglect?
- Does the church have guest parking? You may not have worried about that option, but somebody will. If your church does have guest parking spots, are they easy to locate – or would a guest need to search for them?
- What does the landscaping say about the church? Weeds and dead flowers say something much different than well-manicured landscaping.
- How many clearly identified greeters do you meet from the parking lot to the worship center? If the answer is “none,” your church has room for improvement. You might think the church is friendly, but the same people who talk to you each week because they know you might shy away from talking to guests.
- Is the main entrance obvious and clearly marked? Most of us go in the same door each week, and we long-term members don’t recognize the confusion that many doors present for a guest.
- Does the church have a welcome center? You may not know the answer since you’re likely not a visitor. If not, do some homework when you arrive. If the church does have a welcome center, does it look inviting?
- Is the church building confusing? It may not be confusing to you, but you know its hallways and passageways. It’s possible in many cases that a first-time guest and family might get lost in the same building.
- What impressions do the main restrooms leave? Most people need one at some point, so everybody will form some kind of impression of the church based on a restroom. What is that impression in your church?
What questions would you add?