Confession time: my husband and I have a favorite guest speaker at our church. In fact, attendance is consistently higher when this pastor visits to preach! So a couple of years ago, we decided to visit his home church as a part of our anniversary date. And boy, were we surprised!

We honestly didn’t know what to expect. We knew we were fans of this pastor, but we hadn’t actually met him, and we didn’t know anyone from his congregation. This church was also in a community we were unfamiliar with. We felt excited, and a little nervous. 

To say we were blown away by their hospitality would be an understatement. We were warmly greeted by just about everyone there! Genuine smiles and words of welcome…the ladies in the bathroom were even chatting with me like we’d known each other for years! And we happened to be there on a day when the congregation was going out into the community (after a shortened sermon) to invite folks from the community to their upcoming Harvest Party. Everyone divided into groups and we were invited along. They admitted later to being surprised that we said yes! Honestly, we had felt so welcomed into their family by that point that we didn’t really want to leave!

How do your guests feel after they’ve visited your church? 

Thom Rainer asserts: “Most every church thinks it welcomes guests well. Unfortunately, many are not welcoming at all.” 

If you want more guests to feel like we did after our visit to a new church, check out Thom Rainer’s podcast at the link below. He has identified eight questions welcoming churches ask, and we think you’ll find them helpful. (Spoiler alert: only one question has to do with the friendliness of members!)

For His glory,