THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE
Back in the 1980s, a man visited 18 different churches of differing beliefs to find out what churches are really like. The man said that he sat near the front. After each service he walked slowly to the rear; then returned to the front; and then back to the foyer using another aisle. He said that he always smiled and dressed neatly. He would ask a member to direct him to some place in the building – the fellowship hall; library; preacher’s office, etc. He always stayed for coffee if it was served.
The man developed a scale to measure churches’ friendliness:
10 points for a smile from a worshiper
10 points for a greeting from someone nearby
100 points for an exchange of names
200 points for an invitation to return
1000 points for an introduction to another worshiper
2000 points for an invitation to meet the preacher
11 of the 18 churches he visited scored LESS THAN 100 points! 5 scored LESS THAN 20!
His conclusion – "The doctrine may be biblical. The singing inspirational, the sermon, uplifting; but when a visitor finds that no one cares whether he is there or not, he is not likely to come back."
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Christian Cheong on May 4, 2004
George W. Truett, a well-known Texas preacher, was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy oilman. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area. Pointing to the oil wells and punctuating the landscape, he boasted, "Twenty-five ...read more