For so many years, I served on the flip-side of the situation I now find myself in as we continue to search for a new church home. Instead of being the one to welcome guests, I'm the one being welcomed. Instead of critiquing every minute detail that happened on a Sunday morning with the design team the following week, I now find myself as part of the crowd, simply there to "pause" with other worshippers. It's different, but divinely designed.
Because old habits die hard and the mental notes are already etched in the brain, why not share them? Here's a quick overview of our church experience today:
- The information found on their Web site for first time visitors was good, but very general (from what I could find). The more specific church sites can be as to what to visitors can expect upon arrival, the better, in my opinion.
- The first impression of a church DOES begin in the parking lot. Immediately, the attendants made us feel welcomed without being sappy or sweet. They seemed genuinely sincere, and that always leaves a good impression.
- The facility was very nice - creative decor, nice colors, very clean.
- For those who serve on a First Impressions team, please realize how vital your role is when you stand behind a Guest Desk on Sunday mornings. Brian had to wait for the woman behind the desk to finish a conversation with a band member before he was acknowledged. Granted, she was super nice and helpful afterwards, but some would not have been as patient as my hubby.
- This is a personal preference and the result of many hang-ups pertaining to past experiences, but I didn't care for the reserved seating section for first time guests. Can anyone say "fishbowl experience?" I get the reasoning on their part and the motives are right on, but we sat elsewhere.
- We loved the transition between songs - instruments only with excerpts from today's Scripture references on the screens. There was an immediate tie-in with the song and sermon. Great job!
- There was a guest speaker, whom we enjoyed, but we look forward to hearing the pastor in the near future.
- We saw a couple of friends we hadn't seen in quite awhile. Needless to say, that was a nice surprise!
Overall, Brian and I experienced a welcomed "pause in the midst of chaos" this morning.