We had an amazing opportunity in 2007 when we first moved to southwestern Germany. It was the first time in over 20 years that we began visiting churches in order to choose one as our spiritual home – we were now “consumers,” not “producers!” We were outsiders looking in instead of insiders looking out. We got to experience what a church looks like to a visitor.

We knew our season as associate pastors was coming to an end. We began consulting, coaching and mentoring pastors and church leadership teams across Europe. This forced us to find a church for our family to attend. Since Robin and I were teenagers we had always been the ones welcoming, assisting, getting to know and following up on visitors. Coming as outsiders changed our entire perspective on how visitors view a church.  It was almost as if we had received fresh eyes.

While visiting these churches we noticed some areas (that were fairly consistent in the churches we visited) which could definitely deter a visitor from returning. This series of blogs will share some of our experiences as visitors (in both German and English-speaking churches, and we visited most of these multiple times), as well as suggestions for pastors and those in church leadership. It would do us all good to begin to look at our churches and ministries with these “fresh eyes!”

Click on the links below to read the rest of this blog series.

We Are Visitors – part 2
We Are Visitors – part 3
We Are Visitors – part 4
We Are Visitors – part 5
We Are Visitors – part 6
We Are Visitors – part 7
We Are Visitors – part 8
We Are Visitors – part 9