This is a true story.

Once upon a time there was a visitor to a church. The visitor and his wife weren’t greeted at the door (see the previous post for that…), but they entered the beautiful sanctuary anyway. People milled about and chatted. Some smiled and nodded their heads to the newcomers.

They wandered down the middle aisle and spotted a place in a pew – not too far from the pulpit, but not too close either. They settled into their spot, opened up the bulletin and began to peruse the announcements.

A well-known member of the church congregation came and stood next to them. She didn’t say anything at first. She just stood next them and looked at the spot where they sat. Then, she asked them to scoot over because that was where she and her husband had sat every Sunday for the last 10 years.

Too many church members think that the church is only for them, not for visitors, not for seekers. They might even see a visitor as an inconvenience – someone who sits in a member’s regular spot. Remind your congregation that it’s not about them. It’s about God. And about taking His wordout of the church and into the world and the community.

Reason #3 why your church visitors won’t come back? Someone was just plain mean and treated them as an inconvenience.