by Rich Birch: Have you ever watched people arrive on Sunday morning at your church and wondered what they’re feeling in that moment?
We know that feelings and emotions are incredibly powerful motivators and memory-makers. In fact, studies have proven that we make more decisions based on emotion rather than logic.
This is especially true when we think about people’s reactions to discussions of faith and religion. It’s an emotionally charged topic; similarly, people experience a wide variety of emotions when they visit a church for the first time.
It has often been said that polite conversation excludes both religion and politics, although we seem to live in a day that has discarded the idea of avoiding political conversations. The underlying concept of this “polite conversation” rule deals with the fact that people prefer to avoid emotional conversations, and religion certainly brings emotion to the surface. That being said, part of what we need to do is to understand the emotions people feel when they show up on a Sunday morning and to be able to respond by caring for and meeting people where they’re at in life. Our churches need to be first-time guest obsessed.
Here are five emotions first-time guests likely feel when they’re arriving at your church. I’d love to hear your thoughts, observations, and reflections on this topic in the comments below.