Earlier this year Bishop Sue Moxley shared a list of the, “TOP 21 Things Not to Do to Visitors.” There may be others we could add. The essential question is: how do you want to be treated when you visit in a new congregation? Just one week before Back to Church Sunday is a good time to reflect on what to do, and what not to do whenever we meet a new person in our Church.
1. Ignore them.
2. Hug them.
3. Have them stand up and command “tell us something about yourself!”
4. Make them change their seat!
5. Assume they know what has “always been done” at your church.
6. Downplay your church.
7. Brag about your church.
8. Comment on how their appearance or clothes could be more appropriate.
9. Try to sign them up for some activity or ministry.
10. Insult their previous church or church experience.
11. Argue or talk of church politics in front of them.
12. Insist their child will be better-off in Sunday School.
13. Make them park a great distance from the church.
14. Make them sit at the front of the church.
15. Assume they will come to the coffee time afterwards.
16. Hide the location of the bathrooms.
17. Assume they know where to turn in our books.
18. Give them a bulletin without actually saying “Welcome to church.”
19. Give them your personal business card.
20. Let them leave without inviting them back next Sunday.
21. Never experience what it is like to be a visitor yourself.