The other day I went to a restaurant that had great food, but the service was so terrible that it made me not want to go back. As we left, I could not help but wonder how popular the restaurant would be if they only had put as much effort into the wait staff as they did in the kitchen.
But could this also be true of a church? Without question, Apostolic churches have wonderful saints, vibrant and exciting worship, and Spirit-filled preaching. But we too can be guilty of serving a great meal, only to have the experience overshadowed by poor presentation. By this I mean:
Curb Appeal: What do people think when they see your church from the road outside? Is your sign clean, clear and well-lighted? Are yards and flower beds well-maintained? Is the exterior painted, repaired, and attractive? Is the parking lot free of potholes? Is the exterior and parking lot well-lighted at night? Will the average person know this is a church with one quick glance?
Guest Reception: Do you have door keepers at the front door? If you do not have a portico for dropping people off, is there an umbrella brigade that runs umbrellas out as each person arrives? Hostesses to greet all guests? Is there a guest packet? Do you get a guest card on each guest? Are there ushers on hand to greet guests and seat them on the main aisle about halfway down?
Friendliness: Are guests greeted at least five times before they are seated? Do your saints turn and greet people without being asked to? Does the entire church respond at altar call, inviting guests to go with them? Do your saints engage guests in conversation after service and invite guests to fellowship with them at a local eatery?
Worship: Is the service well-planned and free of “dead space?” Is the music as good as possible, well-practiced and not too loud? Are the songs and choruses projected so all can participate?
Nursery: Is your nursery clean, well-stocked and well-staffed? Are the sound and/or video of the service available in the nursery? Is it easy to find?
100% of your new converts come from your first-time guests. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Serve up a great meal, and do it with style that reflects the greatness of our God!