Mentanna Campbell recently returned to the United States after serving as a missionary in France for years. She started looking for a church. And then wrote a letter posted at RELEVANT Magazine offering some heartfelt, sage advice for how a church should treat visitors. Here are some samplings, but you’ll have to click on the link to get all her advice —
Please don’t offer me cheesy gifts for coming to visit your church. I don’t need Starbucks gift cards or fancy pens. … I want your authenticity and commitment to Christ to be that which draws me back, not the promise of another book or CD. … Offer me information on your church to take home and read. …
Please talk to me. … Come up to us and shake our hands. Introduce yourselves. …
Please include on your website what to expect if I come to your church. I need to know how to dress. I need to know if my kids go to the service with me or not. I would like to know most of that before I come so I can be prepared to entertain my kindergartner during your 45-minute sermon.
… The truth is that I’m not going to fill out anything until I am sure that your church might be a real option for me.
Wow. It never occurred to me to include on our website whether the kids would be in children’s church and how long their parents need to entertain them in church. And while I think it’s important that the congregation give permission to dress casually, it never occurred to me to put that on the website.
Readers, how else can we do a better job of making visitors feel comfortable and welcome?