After resigning my church back in November, I have accumulated a modest three months of being a church visitor. I’ve been to a number of churches since then - some once, some twice, one three times.
I know that there are professional church visitors but hope my dear readers will be patient while an amateur shares his experiences.
Here's something that puzzled me. We sat in a church we had attended before, a church where I know a few people, a church that is extremely informal, This is a church where members do a lot of smiling, hugging, and chatting before worship. I watch them an think, 'This is a bunch of people who enjoy being around each other.'
However...we get ignored there except during the canned greeting time. And I am certain that many of the members, even if they don’t know me by name, at least recognize that I’ve been there before.
So, why would we be ignored?
What appeared to be said out of that was, “We love each other and are so happy to be together…but we could care less whether you’re here or not.” I know there are some good folks in this church. It’s a good church and I know the pastor but if I were a stranger and visited there I would not go back.
In each of the churches we have visited, save for one, the pastor or a staff member knew who we were. While I have no high expectations of follow-up, I am surprised that not once has anyone made a phone call to say, ‘Glad you were present Sunday.’
Don’t churches do that anymore?
Guess I have a few things to learn about visiting churches.