I had the privilege of visiting this new church (less than 6 months old) on a Sabbath with my family. I noticed the following 10 great things that they are doing. They are not perfect, but the things they are doing right can inspire and teach us.
Several blocks before the church I already saw the green signs that were familiar to me as I had looked them up online. Inside the church, there were clear signs everywhere. They rent space, yet manage to pull this off. Why, oh why, do established churches have confusing or nonexistent signage? In this day and age, internet is key. A church with no internet presence is losing potential members.
2. Racial composition.
Young. Old. Black. White. Hispanic. Families. Children. Singles. This doesn’t just happen. Their leadership team reflects diversity and so does the people that participate up front. The world we live in is multicultural, especially in the cities. Our churches should reflect this fact.
3. Attitude of friendliness and service.
I saw CEO’s tear down and set up. I saw volunteers help and was personally greeted several times. Not only was I given the customary hello, I was engaged in conversation by a member who did not know who I was and was very eager to connect with me. Believe me, this does not happen all the time.
4. Tithe envelope.
The tithe envelope is simple and it includes a response card for guest and potential volunteers. This goes along with their core value that we serve God with our money and with our gifts. Each tithe envelope is a good feedback tool. First time I have seen this.
5. Relaxed yet reverent.
Didn’t see many people talking, texting or anxious for the service to be over. People sang, prayed and listened. The best way to describe the congregation was “engaged”.
6. Christ centered/gospel centered preaching.
The pastor spoke on intercessory prayer. His main question was: does it make a difference? His main point was that “Intercessory prayer does not guarantee the other person will change, but it makes it difficult for them to stay the same.” Good, relevant illustrations and biblical application. One important part is that he finished with the gospel. No matter where you start, always finish with the gospel.
The connection cards in the seats. The gift bags for guests. The bulletins for the kids. The breakfast items at the welcome table (very healthy!) The signs. Everything said to guests: “what we are doing here today is not for us. It’s for you”. Excellence inspires people and honors God.
8. Shorter meaningful worship service.
Short announcements. Music. Prayer. Welcome. Message. Tithes and offerings. Started at 11. Ended at 12. My teenage son loved it. It’s amazing how much worship/word you can fit in 60 minutes when you cut out some of the preliminaries that are just for our benefit and not of guests. Insider language was missing, instead a vocabulary that guests could understand was used.
9. No interminable announcements.
Three announcements in less than 5 minutes. Can we do this everywhere?
10. Small groups.
There are several to choose from, from doctrinal to family or sports. There are many ways to connect to others in the church.
There were not perfect. They still need more hands on deck. There were some kinks to be worked out with a brand new sound system. But they are on the right track. Will you help me in praying for them?
If you would like to visit, or connect with the pastor here is the info: