by David Manner
We are often good at considering worship details during the services but don’t always consider worship distractions before and after those services. We assume the theological depth of our worship will encourage first-time visitors to return and even stay. And that might actually be true if they could ever see past our spatial and structural blind spots.
We’ve all heard the adage about only getting one shot at a first impression. So in addition to evaluating sermons and songs, we should also evaluate our worship spaces and structures. Those first-time guests are inevitably asking themselves questions about their worship service visits. If we ask those same questions preemptively before they visit, then maybe their answers will be positive ones when they actually do visit.
Questions First Time Worship Guests Are Probably Asking
- Was it easy for us to park?
- Was it clear where we were supposed to go once we parked?
- Was the building in good repair and were the grounds well kept?
- When were we first greeted, if ever?
- Did the attitude of the greeter make us feel welcome?
- Were we offered coffee and was it excellent, mediocre or bad?
- Were the foyer colors and decorations outdated?
- Did it seem like people were happy to be there?
- Were the handouts timely and of excellent quality?
- Was the restroom clean and odor free?
- Did we feel safe leaving our child in the children’s area?
- How did we figure out where to sit in the worship center?
- Did we feel conspicuous?
- Was the worship center seating comfortable?
- Was there enough light?
- Was the temperature at a comfortable level?
- Did anyone dress or look like us?
- How was the volume of the speaking and music?
- Did the leaders use language we didn’t understand?
- How was the service flow and pace?
- Did the service seem too long?
- Was the worship service order easy to follow or confusing?
- Was it easy to participate musically?
- Was the music presented with excellence?
- Was the music culturally relevant for us?
- Were the video projection elements presented with excellence?
- Did we feel welcome to participate in all worship elements?
- Was the sermon easy to follow and meaningful?
- Did any of the service elements make us feel uncomfortable?
- Did anything in the service distract us?
- Did we know what to do when the worship service was over?
- Did anyone speak to us after the service?
- Were the members friendly, unfriendly or disinterested?
- Did the leaders seem approachable?
- Will we come back based on our observations?