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What not to say to a church visitor... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Johnston   
Sunday, 04 January 2009 16:26

Sacred Church Space

One of the great clichés of church life is that old chestnut example of "warm welcome" that goes something like, "You can't sit there! That is so-and-so's seat!" I've heard many tales of it, but it has never happened to me, I suppose because I'm usually sitting up front! However, it actually happened to us today. [There's more...]

One of the fun things about having time off is being able to visit other churches to participate in worship in a different place. Of course, as a minister, there is always one part of my mind that is observing and taking mental notes about how things are done, and whether ideas are transferrable.

I will spare the blushes of the congregation we were visiting as the seat comment was nicely handled (though it is very disconcerting as a visitor - take note everyone who is tempted to say it!!) and the general welcome was indeed very warm.

One of the things that the church offered was incredibly good for anyone visiting with a young family, as we were. The service was an all-age service, which is always a test for one's patience as a parent attending with young children. After the children-oriented talk the children had the option to head down to a space in the corner dedicated for them to do arts and crafts yet still in the main sanctuary. 

While the adults were listening to the message, the children were still with us in the church, but quietly doing their own thing and able to come back and forth. It really worked well and meant that as parents you were able to listen to the service while also being able to have one eye on the children.

Plus... there was lunch after the service! Always a bonus!

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