Church life is a complicated business.
Throw in some humans, and boy howdy, what a mess.
But, if you’re looking for 3 easy ways to guarantee no one will ever return to your church again, you are in the right place!
Spout some “Church Speak” at them the moment they enter the building.
Here is a script to go by. Please feel free to edit as needed for your congregation. (Look! I just used Church Speak!)
“Blessed morning, visitor friend! Welcome to We Love Jesus (But Don’t Know How to Love His People) Church! When you go in the nave, grab a BCP. We won’t tell you what page to be on, but it looks better if you hold it. After service, we have coffee down a hallway to the left of the sacristy, walk past the vestments, then keep going and take a right at the deacon’s office into an area we like to call Gethsemane –there’s no signs, so you might find it.
Following that will be a brief time of fellowship where we will sing hymns of the Beatitudes that only our members know by memory as we hold our hymnals in judgement of anyone who opens them. Please come and feel awkward with us!”
No One Opens the Door…literally.
To guarantee that no one will come back, please ensure that no one is at the front door, the side door or the back door any time up to two hours before a service begins. For optimal results please have all current church members gather in a “members-only” area a minimum of 50 yards from the sanctuary and not in view of the front doors so that no one is available to chat (especially answer questions) in the lobby areas. For further results, play a soundtrack of crickets (some churches are plagued with live ones) in the foyer as newcomers arrive.
Disappear Like It’s the Apocalypse.
Following the service, please make sure all members, parishioners, flock or crowd disperse immediately. There is no time for fellowship, let alone assisting visitors. This is a good time to play the “cricket track” again. Advise all members to go somewhere else for coffee or lunch, but only with fellow members who have attended the church for 10 years or more.
If you do decide to have a “Coffee Hour,” please see the advice in Step 1.
By following these three easy steps, I guarantee no one will want to come back to your church. Why do we need new members anyway? The people who have been here for 30 years are doing just fine.
~Dawn Michelle Michals has been a church goer the majority of her life. She has attended numerous churches. A few have adhered to these rules, but one did not. Dawn still attends there to this day.