Finding wisdom, music, story,
and a prayer for the journey...
While I understand the sentiments expressed in the article I am not one of those visitors who wants to shake hands with some stranger or fill out the obligatory "visitor's card". I like having information plainly posted so I don't have to ask. I like being able to smile and move on without making christian-ese chit-chat. Sometimes trying to find the main meeting area (whether a sanctuary or whatever) can be difficult. It's often behind closed doors that could lead anywhere! Nice when the doors are wide open and welcoming. I'm not one to be church in a church setting anymore. I can do the church-y thing but I'm more apt to find other venues for my fellowshipping and keep church for worship and learning. Right now, I'm very much a pew person and that's it at my church.
I have been overwhelmed by an overly enthusiastic greeter on more than one occasion! We do need to allow visitors to remain somewhat anonymous, IMO, but to be totally invisible is not the answer. Golden Rule seems to apply. Don't overwhelm people, but don't refuse to even see them. And look at your stuff as if you were visiting. Not too hard to note that the service time is nowhere to be found! It's a balance.
You've read about my visiting experiences. As for 'my' church, it's an interesting cross between the lifers who are suspicious of anyone new, unless it's a current parishoners newborn, and the ones who try just a tad too hard, and come across as a recruiter. It's an interesting place really. I saw a lot of similaritites to the movie 'Pleasantville'Nightmare
Ruth - I think you've hit the other extreme. Who wants to go to church and get mugged by a used car salesman?I think there's a often missed balance between "just let me check things out" and "you guys aren't expecting anyone new, are ya?"
I've been on the side where about 15 different people come up to you and you start to think "Either they are REALLY friendly, or they are desperate for new people"My church seems to have a good balance. Everyone gets greeted, but I never felt it was in desperation, but because they were excited you came to church and they just wanted to let you know that.
Your church does have a good balance. I felt welcome, but not overwhelmed.
Post a Comment