Church: How to be the New Kids {Part 1}

by GfG on March 3, 2013 · 2 comments

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Being a visitor at a church can be awkward or even down right miserable.  I’ve shared two posts with my thoughts on how to treat visitors at church (Part 1 and Part 2).  You can make a real difference. Today it’s time to talk about how to handle being the visitor.  Next week, I’ll talk about how to be the new member.

Church Collage WEB

So… what is the best way to be a visitor?

Make sure you know what you are looking for before you go.  I’ve shared before that doctrine matters when it comes to churches.  Make sure you’ve made your must have list and your we’d like to have list.

Remember every church is different.  It’s not fair to go into a new church expecting it to be just like your previous one.  Assuming you’ve looked into the doctrine before you go and agree with it, have an open mind to the rest.

Say out loud that you are visiting.  Some churches have more than one service or the number of members is large and that can make it difficult to know who is a visitor.  While wearing a special hat that says VISITOR probably isn’t an option, telling greeters is.  That’s part of their role, usually.  Pretty much, tell everyone you meet that you are visiting.

Make sure you introduce yourself to people, especially the pastor.  Many churches have a meet and greet time, either before, during, or after the service.  Don’t duck.  Make eye contact and introduce yourself and your family.   I think it’s important to meet the pastor, so make sure that happens.

Gather and read hand outs about the church.  While this is the age of electronic communication, all churches still have papers that will help you get a better feel for the church.  Read them.  Ask questions if you don’t understand something.

Choose an event or two to attend.  After attending a worship service, if the church is still in the running, then you need to take your involvement to the next level.  I think going to a small group of some kind should be on your list, but consider another event of some kind to check out also.

Go to a church three Sundays in a row.  One visit to a church can’t really give you an honest feel.  Go three times in a row, to see a consistent flow of the congregation.   Again, this is only if there isn’t something that is an automatic deal killer.

Ok, so those are my ideas for how to go about visiting churches.  There is a bit more once you’ve made a decision about joining.

Helping you connect at church is important to me.  No one likes to be the new kid on the block trying to make new friends, feel like a part of things, and figure out the lay of the land.  If you have more suggestions, please share in the comments.

Have you been the new kid on the block at a church? 

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