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I’m Going Back to that Church

“I’m going back to that church!” These are words every pastor and church leader long to hear! Unfortunately, the opposite phrase, “I’m not going back to that church,” may be expressed more often. While we may not actually hear such comments, we can pretty much tell how people feel by their continued presence or absence. People go where they feel safe and welcome!

Is your church a place people want to be? Is it where you want to be, or do you attend more out of sense of duty than delight? Here are some positive things you can do to help make your church more people-friendly:

1) Drink deeply of God’s forgiveness and grace. You’ll laugh more and be more understanding of other people.

2) Pay attention to what visitors and members alike are saying. In other words, enter into their worlds, put on your best listening skills. People know when you really care.

3) Resist the temptation to criticize others. No one likes to be around people who are negative or critical.

4) Put together a team of warm, sensitive greeters who love meeting and talking with people.

5) Write a series of short articles on how Jesus treated people. Work with your pastor to have these included in either the church bulletin or newsletter.

6) Encourage your church board to implement “Kid Glove” initiatives that include basic guidelines on how to treat people. Use these to create a culture of respect and compassion for everyone who walks through your doors.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference

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