Here are the responses from yesterday. Many were repeated by others, but they're typical of what is shared in each class.
- The music!
- I go home remembering what was taught
- It's the coffee that brought my husband back.
- In my church back home I always fell asleep during church. Not here! [Maybe it's the coffee?]
- I was made to feel welcome.
- The teaching gives real life applications.
- The Bible is taught as God's Word.
- The check in for the kids made me feel that they were being cared for.
Now, my guess is that if we polled those who came once and never returned (or maybe walked out) their answers would be: [Think Ed and Edith are searching again for a church...]
- The music!
- It didn't "feel like church"/wasn't what I was used to.
- I like church to be quiet.
- The pastor wore flip flops and sat on a stool. How irreverent is that?
- The service went for an hour and fifteen minutes. That's just too long.
- The people next to me raised their hands while they sang. I was horrified. Were they going to start dancing next? [No, but we might pull out some snakes next week!]
It's interesting when people reveal their expectations for a church or worship gathering. It's also interesting when people are surprised by what they find. To be honest, Ed and Edith are not our target. They think they've already got the God thing all figured out, and to them, we're out in left field somewhere. And that's OK. They'll find their niche somewhere else and bless that church.
Our goal is to attract, reach and maintain an opportunity to impact those who have no clue about God or spiritual things, but just know He is the missing ingredient in their lives. They don't know what to expect, and as a result are bowled over by the welcome and security and relevance they sense by what we do. And they're even surprised that they're getting answers to the questions in their lives from the Bible of all places.