Think about the last time you felt like an ‘outsider,’ like you didn’t belong.

How did you feel? It’s such an uncomfortable, awful feeling isn’t it? We would never want a guest to our church to feel that way! Unfortunately, many guests do feel like outsiders, and it’s because we’re unaware of what makes them feel that way. We, after all, are the ‘insiders’. Our services are geared in a way that’s comfortable for us.

Carey Nieuwhof says this: “…there’s a strange tension to which leaders are often blind: as much as they say they want to reach outsiders, their services and the entire organization are geared toward insiders. As a result, when someone they’re trying to reach shows up, it’s easy for them to feel like they don’t fit in or like this church simply isn’t for them. And most leaders simply miss the signs that this is the case. So they scratch their heads and wonder why outsiders don’t flock toward their church.”

What are some of the common ways this plays out? Read the full article below for 7 signs to look for, and evaluate your service and atmosphere with fresh eyes this weekend. What tweaks could you make to help avoid an “insider” culture at your church?