To those who attend a traditional “Sunday-go-to-meeting” Church service, this is not going to make much sense.
Where I am NOW, in regards to visitors to our community gathering, is so much different than where I used to be in a traditional church setting. I had a conversation with an ex-pastor not to long ago (he retired) and he could not believe, or I could not explain, my current concepts on VISITORS!
Let me attempt to relate this to you.
>The emphasis is on attracting visitors.
>Special parking spaces are provided close to the front door
>Converting people from their religion, or their denomination, or their church, to OURS is an important aspect of “church life”.
>Getting INFORMATION on the visitors (cards?) is a key
>Following up and making sure that they come back is job #1
>Making sure they have the right doctrine (ours of course) is Godly
>We greet all visitors with great respect and cordiality
>We make visitors feel at home
>We encourage them to engage in our discussions without thrying to convert them to how it is we think and believe.
>We want to know how they see God and life without judging
>We hope they visit again but we don’t “go after them” in a methodical attempt to make them a part of our community
There’s nothing wrong with the “Conventional Way”. It is what it is. It’s just not the style of operation that we employ. Some of our visitors return infrequently. Some never return as they don’t feel called to our format of a Friday night discussion with open sharing and seemingly no “hard lines” on doctrine.
Most importantly of all though is the underlying philosophical paradigm that says church is about: gaining members, converting people to think as we do, and believing that SIZE is proof that God approves of the local church-community.
By the way, we meet every Tuesday and Friday at 7pm. Y’all come now- ya hear?