Top ten ways to turn people away from church. Please note that I am not condoning any of the following.
(1) Invite them, and when they show up to an event, don’t talk to them. Or, during handshake/greeting time, ignore them.
(2) Make everything a one-up game when someone visits. What car do you drive? Where do you work? What size house do you have? How many vacations do you take a year?
(3) Hide all information about where the church meets. Do not readily post where classes/groups meet. Keep all such information secret.
(4) When someone calls to ask for information about the church, blow them off. Wait six months to a year and then call them.
(5) When someone visits, let them know their attire is inappropriate.
(6) Roll your eyes at people with noisy children and babies.
(7) Tell jokes about other ethnic groups/homosexuals/other religions/people from other political parties/anyone else who is different.
(8) Ask for volunteers, and then when people volunteer, don’t call them.
(9) Hide all your faults. Act as if you are perfect.
(10) Make salvation all about a list of do and don’ts and keep Jesus out of the equation.
Conversely, how to turn people toward your church, and hopefully, Christ.
(1) Invite someone to church and stay with them. Introduce them to others. Make them feel welcome. Your church culture might be foreign to them. What can you do to help them fit in? During handshake/greeting time, talk to people standing by themselves.
(2) Instead of focusing on things that divide (are you married, do you have kids, do you make a lot of money), focus on neutral topics of conversation. Hey, how’s the weather? Do you like sports? Do you see that Bengals game?
(3) Post information inside the church (maybe on the walls) and in the bulletin. Post it on the church’s Website. Make sure it is current.
(4) Contact people as soon as possible. Don’t let people slip through the cracks.
(5) God cares about our hearts. Okay, maybe someone is wearing something inappropriate. Let God be their judge. Just love them and show them Jesus.
(6) Just as Jesus welcomed little children, accept children in your church. Make your church one that welcomes families (as well as those without children; it goes both ways).
(7) Jesus loves everyone. Don’t say you love everyone and then tell jokes about others when they are not present.
(8) If you want volunteers, then you need to accept help from others.
(9) People need Jesus. If you pretend to be perfect, they will wonder why people need Jesus. And besides, they’ll soon find out you are not perfect. (None of us are, except Jesus.)
(10)Point people to Jesus and not your institutional preference. That is, Jesus is the way, and not the color hair you have or the type of music you listen to.