Have you ever been to Disney World? The Disney workers, and characters have been trained how to treat guests which is why you leave feeling like you had a magical time. If you have ever visited on your birthday, or anniversary they mark you with a special pin you wear proudly on your shirt. While you think this is a special gift, because it is, it is actually a way for princesses and everyone a part of Disney to recognize you and say, "Happy Birthday," or "Happy Anniversary."
I remember when my husband and I went on our honeymoon. We wore our pins proudly. We watched the parade excitedly that first morning, then something even more magical and amazing happened. Cinderella looked off the float at us and said, "Happy Anniversary" with a huge smile. We looked at each other amazed and said, "how did she know?" After many random "Happy Anniversary" wishes we finally realized it was because of the pins we were wearing. But regardless, the kindness and over the top welcomes and wishes made us feel so loved.
Over the top love is what first time guests in the church need. From the time they pull in the parking lot, first time guests should be recognized. The church volunteers and people should have a system to brand first time guests, so that they are recognizable to everyone. Visiting churches can be scary, and to feel loved and welcomed by a church is huge.
We have all visited the church where no one knew if you were new or not, much less cared. We have also visited the church where you got a few welcomes from strangers. But recently, I visited a church where they gave over the top love to first time guests. And I left feeling loved, appreciated, like I belonged there. This church takes value in their first time guests experience which is one of the reasons why they have exponential growth in their church.
We need to start rethinking our systems, and constantly be bettering different areas of the church. First time guests have been left alone long enough. It is time for the church to step up and start treating first time guests with love and value. We can love and value our guests without embarrassing them. Figure out a way to value them in ways they don't know how you recognize them. The first time someone visits the church, is crucial. Crucial because their first time, their experience will determine whether they stay or not.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor