First General Baptist Church of Rector, AR, I have been reminded of a few things. One of this is this: it is a lot different viewing your church from the eyes of a new person.
I am sure it would be the desire of all of my readers for there to be new people in their church services each week. That is our desire, and it is the fruit of a church on a mission for God's mission (Matthew 28:18-20). Our new church is great, and there is a lot of excitement and partnership in what God is doing now and what we pray He will do in the future.
But (and isn't there alway a but?!), our family has noticed that there are some things that go on that, if you are new, you would never either know about it or you would not know how to get involved.
This is not done purposely, because it is the desire of the church to reach the lost and those who have fallen out of church over the years. The fact is, many churches, if not most, have this issue. We get so used to the routine of everything that we forget others may not know.
So, what is the solution?
First, we must always remember and assume that there are those listening to us for the first time and those who are sitting next to us for the first time. As leaders in the church, we must make sure every thing we say and do is communicated clearly so everyone knows and understands. We cannot take for granted what we assume everyone knows. This includes not only our announcements and welcome committees, but also our preaching and teaching.
Secondly, as church members, we can't forget what it was like to be a new person in a new surrounding. If someone is giving announcements and the information seems silly and redundant, remember that at one time you didn't know about it. Part of worship is sacrifice, and that includes sacrificing our time in making sure everyone is up to speed. Don't assume that new person knows where the nursery is at, what the purpose of Sunday School/Bible Study/Small Groups are, etc. Do your part to make the new guests welcomed and help them get "up to speed."
Lets view our church's and their services with the eyes of someone who is new.