The church can learn a thing or two from major corporations.
For example, Jen and I were recently talking about the outstanding customer service offered by the company Land’s End. They are friendly, helpful, informative, and you don’t feel like they’re in a hurry to get you off the phone. In fact, Jen appreciates their customer service so much that she said, “Their customer service is so good that I wish I liked more of their products!”
When she said that my mind immediately went to my church.
The worship at our church isn’t incredible. I’m not Matt Redman or Chris Tomlin or Bob Kauflin, and my ability to lead our band is average.
Our sermons are biblically rooted expositional sermons, and we’re always trying to improve, but they’re nothing special. No one is making comparisons between us and John Piper or Matt Chandler.
Our facilities are average. At best. We don’t have a fancy sound system or a massive stage. Our children’s ministry is a bit crowded right now.
But there is one thing about our church that is outstanding: the people. Our church is full of the warmest, friendliest, most welcoming people on planet earth. Time and again I’ve heard guests say that what struck them the most about our church was how welcome they felt. Over the years my dad (the senior pastor) has made a concerted effort to create a culture of warmth and welcome, and that culture is noticeable the moment you walk in to church.
It seems like people are willing to overlook a lot of deficiencies as long as they feel welcome in a church. The sermons might not be the absolute best, but the people can be the most loving. The worship might not be on par with Matt Redman, but the welcome can be on par with Matt Redman’s church.
Now don’t misunderstand me, a church should always be built upon the preaching of God’s word, and the preaching of God’s word and biblical worship should never be traded for something else. Never.
But lots of smaller churches, like mine, don’t have the resources to build an incredible building or install a magnificent sound system. And us smaller churches are pastored by people like me, who have limited gifts. So my church can’t be Northpoint, or Mars Hill, or Bethlehem Baptist.
But we can be the most welcoming church around, and I think that goes a long way.
Question: Have you experienced the difference that a warm welcome at church makes?