In one church, not only was no one friendly to us as visitors, but the regulars weren’t even friendly with each other. They might as well have been waiting for the start of a movie in a theater full of strangers.
A well-trained team of greeters can be helpful, but it’s not a substitute for actual friendliness. And, in a smaller church, if it truly is friendly to newcomers, the fact that they don’t have “official” greeters doesn’t matter.
3. Don’t look for musical excellence, look for sincere worship
I love great, live music. I truly believe it is enriching to the soul.
But a church doesn’t need musical excellence to have sincere, heartfelt worship.
Many small churches have no one with enough musical skill to lead the congregation in singing every week. Our church struggled with that for many years.
If the church is truly worshiping the Lord with all their hearts, look past the musical deficit and join in the worshipful atmosphere.
4. Don’t look for high-end graphics, look for regular updates and interaction
Not every church has a website. But even the smallest one should have a Facebook page.
A church that’s vibrant and active might not have all the coolest bells and whistles, but they’re going to be active. Look for a Facebook page with regular news and updates, and/or a website that tells about upcoming events, not ones that happened months ago.
5. Don’t look for a place that offers to meet your needs, look for a place that needs what you have to offer
One of the great gifts that small churches can offer people is the opportunity to be needed, not just served.
A great church experience isn’t about what the church can do for you. The church is us, after all. It should be about what we can do for each other.
6. Don’t look for a church that serves you, look for a church that encourages you to serve others
While the previous point was about opportunities to serve inside the church, it’s also important that the church serves others. Too many churches, large and small, offer service opportunities that only enrich what goes on inside their own walls.
Find a church that does ministry from the church, not just in the church.