If your church is going to grow people are going to have to visit…and stay. It doesn’t matter if they are exploring the idea of faith or looking for a new church home, the average person is asking 3 questions when they walk through the doors of your church.
Their experience as they enter your property, check in their kids, and find a seat will be their first impression, but your preaching is going to be the place they get their biggest questions answered.
Here are the three big questions a guest is asking when they listen to you preach:
- Do they understand my circumstances?
No matter what kind of background your guest comes from, they come with experience. They come with a current life scenario and they listen to your message through that filter. Does this guy (or gal) understand what I’m dealing with? Does what they are saying even apply to my life?
The easiest way to address this is to understand your audience make up. Make a list of every general type of person listening (completely new to faith, experienced, single, married, divorced, unemployed, etc). Then review your message from their perspective and assess whether you are addressing them in a clear and respectful manner.
- Are they judging me or helping me?
If a guest is visiting your church they’ve either never been to church before or they’ve got some kind of baggage from another church (good or bad). They want to know what kind of friend you are going to be.
Are you going to be the kind that is always telling them what they are doing wrong? Or are you going to be the one that listens and offers helpful, caring advice?
- Are they going to help me grow?
Everyone that walks through the doors of your church walks through at a different “level” of spiritual maturity. Some are taking their first steps, others are learning to run on their own. Both want to know if you are going to help them take their unique next steps in faith.
Consider clarifying what a next step looks like for each level of spiritual growth. How does any given message you preach help each person take their next spiritual step?
Just like at the beginning of any friendship, both parties are looking to see if the other listens. Do they even care or do they just like to hear themselves speak. It is no different the first time they listen to you preach.
Be a good friend, understand what they are looking for and where they are coming from. Then help them see what one step closer to Christ looks like.