Dear Churches Seeking New Members,
My husband and I moved to the city a few years ago and have been ‘between churches’ ever since. We’ve been to visit quite a few of you and have some observations you may find helpful in encouraging more new members:
- No Public Humiliation – please don’t make us stand up in a room full of total strangers and introduce ourselves. We want to be anonymous because we’re not sure we want to see you again and, frankly, we’re still seeing other churches. It’s not you, it’s us, and we just don’t know you very well yet. (And, believe me, if we do decide to join you, you’ll be lucky to get us to shut up, so enjoy the quiet while you can get it.)
- Acknowledge We Exist – Being anonymous is not the same as being invisible. We’re probably going to be a little…
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My husband, a pastor, tells me that if he doesn’t give people a chance to introduce themselves, he sometimes hears later that we’re unfriendly to strangers. Others, like you, don’t want to be recognized. For us, it’s not about wanting to get new members . . . it’s about not wanting people to feel ignored or alone. Perhaps the best compromise is inviting people to sign a visitor registry if they choose. That’s what we’re experimenting with now. Then we can call them after church, ask if we can help in some way, and invite them to become a part of our family.