Monday, August 05, 2013

Worship Thoughts: The Visitor's Card

In almost every church I have ever visited there is always the issue of the visitor's card. Churches routinely use such cards to gather information on guests to the church. How such information is used varies from church to church but the purpose is generally the same: find out as much information as they can about newcomers to the church.

Recent experiences with the visitor's card have put me off filling out one ever again. Not long ago I was in a church where I had filled out a card. The next morning the pastor showed up unannounced at my front door wanting to talk about the church. Sadly, I had already determined based on our visit that the church was not a fit for our family. So from now on, I am adopting the following attitude towards the visitor's card:

Please don't force me to fill out a visitor's card. Don't make me write down any information, especially if I have already sidestepped your first appeal to get me to do so. I don't want to hurt your feelings, so don't make me have to keep coming up with excuses. The truth is that I’m not going to fill out anything until I am sure that your church might be a real option for me.
That's the rub. It's hard for a person coming to a church for the first time to decide whether that's the place for them based on one hour of worship. It would be like deciding to marry someone after only a single date with them. It's not advisable. You haven't had an opportunity to get to know them yet.
The same holds true for church. Church needs to be a place where you can be involved, where you can fellowship with other believers and be an integral part of the body of Christ. Membership in a church is a serious commitment and one that should not be entered into lightly. So it would be better for churches to keep that in mind and not pressure newcomers into rushing into a relationship they may not be comfortable with.

Previously in this series - Worship Thoughts: Special Music

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