It’s often easy to forget how intimidating going to a new place can be, especially a new church. Depending on experiences with church, people’s comfort levels will vary when it comes to visiting a new church for the first time.
I’ve invited a number of people to church in the last few months, and this is a fun post just highlighting some of the common questions I got asked. some I had never thought would be an issue, but I’ve been surprised by them.
1. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
The term ‘Sunday best’ exists for a reason, people want to make sure they dress in an ácceptable’ way when they come to church. This question claims the top spot on the question list, and you will probably get it if you invite someone to church. Somehow church evokes feelings of the need to be perfect in most of us, even though in my opinion it should be the one place we should feel free to be ourselves.
So, if you are inviting someone to church, inform them of what they can wear. Give them examples of what you, and other people in general, will wear. I know some churches are all about suit and tie, and others more jeans and sneakers – so inform your guest either way.
My general response is that they should be comfortable, and then I proceed to give examples of what I wear generally.
2. WHAT LANGUAGE DO YOU SING IN?
This is another question you’ll receive, especially if you live in a multi-cultural society like I do. The last thing people want to feel is silly and not knowing the songs that are sung. Assure your guest by letting them know whether you’ll have a projector or hymn book to guide them along. Alternatively, send them band names or Youtube links of songs that you normally sing to help them prepare their minds and hearts. I remember being lost the few times I moved churches (I promise I’m not a church hopper :-), and wishing I had the song titles up on the screen so I could look them up. So be prepared to answer this one too.
3. HOW LONG IS THE SERVICE?
Give your guest an estimate of how long the service will be. Generally, most services go between 1.5-2hours, so communicate this information. If you have extra classes or social activities after church, also let them know.
BONUS INFORMATION YOU CAN GIVE
Some extra items you can mention include:
– what the flow of the service usually, so that they are not alarmed when everyone is going to the front or back for whatever reason 🙂
– how the offering is taken up, so they don’t feel like they MUST give. For some people, church is a whole new world.
– whether they should complete visitor forms, go to a visitor’s table etc
I know for some people the less information they have the better, but as someone inviting your world to church, always remember your first time, and make sure your visitors don’t experience the same.