Growing up, any time guests were coming to visit, we would “clean house” to get ready. The more important the guest, the more we cleaned up.
Every church (no matter the size, median age, location or resources) can quickly communicate a lack of concern for visitors by the way they keep their facilities. Here are three quick ways to display a lack of welcoming hospitality:
1. Don’t change the message on your sign for weeks on end. This is a real pet peeve of mine. If you are going to have a message-changing sign (or a website for that matter), keep it current. There’s nothing that screams “nobody cares” more than having your fall festival advertised in December.
2. Leave up old concert posters on doors and walls. Seriously, when the event is over, take them down. This is not your teenage daughter’s “brag wall.” When visitors see that you don’t pay attention to detail, they wonder if you will pay attention to them.
3. Don’t keep up your facilities and grounds. When someone in your neighborhood lets their yard go uncut and has UPS packages piled up on their front porch, you typically think they are out of town on vacation. Is that what you want people to think about your church?
Keep the lawn trimmed and the facilities straight. Clean out classrooms and straighten up display tables regularly. (Most churches have so much junk stashed in cabinets, on countertops and behind furniture that they could fill a few large dumpsters!) Typically, members are used to seeing it and can block it out of their minds. But visitors have fresh eyes. Walk around your facilities from a guest’s point of view.
These may seem like trivial (nontheological) issues to many, but it's just plain hospitality (which is a biblical issue). If you plan on opening your doors to guests, make sure you’ve at least cleaned up for them. Otherwise they may think you just don’t care.
Scott Attebery is executive director of DiscipleGuide Church Resources, a department of the Baptist Missionary Association of America. You can read his blog at ScottAttebery.com.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
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