Building Monuments Or Scrawling Graffiti?

Before moving back to the USA our family was able to do one final European road trip.  We took the ferry from Calais, France to Dover, England, and spent the night there.  The next day we toured the Dover Castle.  It was awesome!  On the walls of the castle church we saw some Crusader graffiti scrawled into the church wall.  These men wanted to leave some sort of mark on the world before heading out into battle. It got me thinking about our mortality.  We are not guaranteed our next breath.  No one knows what is ahead.  Before we depart we want to leave some sort of legacy that will live on after we’re gone. We only have a few short years in which to impact our world, hopefully for the better. […]

We Are Visitors (part 1)

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 Are Visitors (part 2)

One of the first things we noticed when we went into the churches is what I call the welcome factor. Actually this is comprised of many areas all coming together to give an overall impression of “welcome-ness.” One of these areas is obvious: the condition of the building. […]

We Are Visitors (part 3)

Another thing we found amusing, although detrimental was the greeter ministry in many of the churches we visited. Most church leaders seem to understand the importance of making people feel welcome, but this understanding doesn’t trickle down to the congregation. In most of the churches we visited, we were greeted with a warm handshake and a “Hello” or “Welcome” at the door. The greeters were doing their job. But that’s where the welcome ended. […]

We Are Visitors (part 5)

One of the more “controversial” thoughts we have about visitors is concerning the worship style. One thing pastors and church leaders need to remember is that your music can either draw or repel visitors. It is a very up-front representation of your church. Whether your worship music style is country & western, rock & roll, pop, or even heavy metal, it attracts, and conversely, repels people, depending on their personal tastes. […]

We Are Visitors (part 7)

Another thing that visitors are looking for is a church that knows where it’s going and what it’s doing. If the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, there’s a problem. Everyone on the stage should at least have a basic idea of the order of service. […]

We Are Visitors (part 9)

In one church we visited we arrived just before the service started. Because we came at the last minute, there weren’t five seats in which our whole family could sit together. Several ushers walked hurriedly past me. I finally flagged one usher down and I asked him if he had any more chairs. […]

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