As your church gathers this weekend before Thanksgiving, I pray God moves in a mighty way in your church. In preparation for your services, ask God to help you overcome these common mistakes churches make:
- Fret over low attendance on a pre-holiday weekend. Instead of complaining about what we thought might happen, why not rejoice over those who are present?
- Not pray in preparation for worship. Our task is God-sized, but too many congregants still don’t pray until they do it as part of a small group or a worship service. They come to church spiritually unprepared.
- Fail to preach the Word. This one is actually more than a “mistake”; it’s a tragedy. The Bible must be our textbook, and those who attend the church should recognize that commitment quickly.
- Fail to preach the Word clearly and convincingly. Many churches do preach the Word, but some preachers somehow make that Word boring and unconvincing. That’s actually a tragedy, too.
- Start small groups or the service late. It’s disrespectful to those who are on time to delay starting until everyone’s there.
- Be friendly only to people they know. Even the “friendliest” churches often don’t reach out to faces they don’t recognize.
- Be caught off guard by guests who attend. That happens because we don’t really expect anything to be different (like, new people show up).
- Embarrass guests if they do come. It still happens. It’s regrettable, but it happens.
- Not challenge members to give. We commonly explain to guests that they aren’t expected to give – but we then fail to challenge our regulars to give at the same time. When we only go through the motions of taking an offering, we miss an opportunity to push our folks to live by faith.
- Use insider language. Our “Christianese” and “denominational lingo” are not only a hindrance to unchurched guests, but they often get in the way of our members as well. If you use the language, at least explain it.
- Inadequately explain how to respond to the gospel. No one who hears the Word should be left hanging about next steps. Call for a response, and make that response clear.
- Take corporate worship for granted. Many, many believers around the world long for the opportunity our congregations have to gather freely this weekend. We really should be grateful.
What mistakes would you add to this list?