Would all the first time visitors please stand?

Anyone who has ever been to a new church has experienced the awkwardness of being the new person.  In smaller churches visitors stand out like a sore-thumb and in larger churches they are swallowed up in the crowd and rarely noticed.  Rev. Micheli shared his experience at a church in Georgia where he did not exactly receive the welcome he had expected this past Sunday.  With denominational churches on the decline congregations are beginning to focus efforts on hospitality committees to teach their congregations how to be nice.  Is it really the pastor’s role to teach people (mostly adults) how to be nice to a stranger?  If you have a visitor in your home do you treat them the same way you treat a visitor at your church?   You only have one opportunity to make a good impression with a visitor and according to the Lewis Center, most visitors have already made up their mind about coming back to your church before worship even begins.  The Lewis Center recently shared “Five Must-Know Facts About First Time Guests” which explains just how first time visitors feel and what congregations can do to be more welcoming and hopefully turn more visitors into members.