David Ripley, President

David Ripley, President

Vision Statement #8

“Double the number of churches in our mission territory, double attendance.

 

Let’s look at the first of the seven areas we will explore to increase attendance. Remember the reason we are eager to double our attendance; it is because we will be connecting twice as many people on a weekly basis to Jesus!

What Would Your First Impression Be?

kelly-sikkema-23486 door webThink back and remember a time that you approached a house or building for the first time in an unfamiliar neighborhood.  Was your mind racing as you wondered what it would be like on the other side of the door? Were your senses on high alert noticing everything around you? Were you hesitant, even thinking of retreat?

The infrastructure of your church is something that is very familiar to you. Every week you arrive at the church building and attend worship. No problem. You are not concerned with any issues with the building or grounds because you know there are great people inside and friends eager to greet you.

But the first-time guest will notice everything! It is part of our instinct to be very alert entering unfamiliar surroundings. The first time guests will need help from you if they are to get beyond their initial apprehension.  We will talk about smiles and handshakes later with Guest Care, but for now let’s look at infrastructure.

Church Building and Grounds

lightstock_1499_full_user_39147891 WebAll buildings need constant maintenance. Find someone in your church with an artistic eye for detail to carefully inspect. Even better convince a friend that has never been to your church who will give you honest evaluation to inspect your building and grounds. Is the trim painted and in place? Are the windows clean and in good repair? Is the grass mowed in the summer and the snow shoveled in the winter? Are the front doors solid or glass? A first time guest can see in and have less fear as they approach a see-through door. Is the church sign in good repair; is it of high quality matching the building architecture?

Parking

raban-haaijk-118657-parkinglot WEBDo you have adequate parking for the congregation in a lot or on nearby streets? I have stood in the parking lot of a church before and watched unknown potential guests drive in, and not finding a parking place, drive out never to return. For each family that regularly attends you need to have 2 parking spaces. In some urban areas you need 2.5 spaces per household.

Interior

On the inside, are the carpets or tiles clean and in good repair? Is the entry lobby large enough so people do not feel pushed to other areas? Is there signage that will help people find the washrooms, classrooms, and sanctuary? Are the division classrooms in good repair, well lit, and have glass in the doors to insure the safety of children?

Are the washrooms clean, modern, and adequate facilities for the size of the congregation? Many experts believe the restrooms are the most critical for guests. Are there baby changing stations in the restrooms, both women’s and men’s? Are the supplies of soap and paper towels adequate for the time people will be in the building?

Environment

lightstock_90224_medium_user_39147891 WebIs there adequate lighting throughout the church? Are there any burned out lights promptly replaced? Is the building comfortably heated in the winter and cooled in the summer?

Worship Room

Is the seating comfortable and in good repair? Do the acoustics of the room assist in hearing the service easily while dampening the general noise of people moving and whispering? Is the audio system high quality and knowledgeably operated? Does the video projector show a strong picture? We surely want to take out of the room any distractions that we can so God will be heard through song, prayer, and sermon.

What Does Your Building Say About God?

lightstock_912_full_user_39147891 WEbThese are some examples of considerations with a church’s infrastructure. Each individual church may have unique things to check. Some things may be difficult to change because of renting a building, or even resources. But it is not only making the building nicer, it is evangelistic to have as much in place as possible.

Some churches are surprised when a guest walks in. Do not be surprised. A church should expect guests, and prepare for their arrival.

Guests are not to be suspected, but expected!

Lastly, I want to remind all of us that when a guest comes into our church they will likely judge what you think of your God by how you care for His house. Let us all express our love for God through how we care for the church that belongs to Him. Let us prepare carefully for all our guests to meet God at worship.

What are some important items to consider for increased church attendance in each of these categories?

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Atmosphere/Programming – coming up next!
  3. Guest Care
  4. Discipleship
  5. Relationship
  6. Local Church Culture
  7. Local Church Governance Structure

 

Stay tuned! Let us discover together!
David Ripley, President

 

Mission & Vision_08AUG2016_Page_1_edit

Learn More: This article is part of a series focused on making the new Man-Sask Mission & Vision practical and applicable.

– Where did this Mission & Vision come from?
– How will it make a difference?
– How will it impact you?

Check out previous articles in the series here