I posted this a few years ago but decided to re-post with a few edits for your edification! I hope you enjoy! Share with others if you like! – Domo
Moving to a new city is hard. There are things to set up and people to meet! You have to find a barber, dry cleaner and somewhere to get groceries. All those are necessities but not nearly as important as finding a place to worship! Having moved to several cities, I have experienced the process of finding a new church and have determined that one can glean whether a church is a good fit within 17 non-consecutive minutes.
Let me start off by saying that I believe that everything that you see at church is a reflection of the vision that the leader has. He or she may not be able to cross every T and dot every I, but in general, things should be flowing in a way that suggest that the leader is leading the ministry towards growth. So here we go… 17 minutes!
Minute #1: When you drive up to the church, you ought to be able to assess whether somebody has been assigned to make what is considered “God‘s house” look half-way decent. Not a HUGE deal but something to consider! Certainly, someone in need of prayer will not pass up a ministry because the grass needs to be mowed, but it does make a difference! Did anyone greet you in the parking lot?
Minute #2-4: When I assess whether I could be a member of a church, I consider what the experience may be for those I might invite. Since God is inclusive and loving.. so shall the ushers/greeters be! From the time it will take you to get from the door to your seat, you should get more smiles and “welcomes” than backs and funny looks!
Minute #5: Did they start on time? I went to a church where they started 10 minutes late and they tried to make people feel guilty if they left early. You need to start on time! If I know that you have respect for my time, I am more inclined to stay through the duration of the service. I don’t feel guilty for leaving. I come AND go with a purpose!
Minute #6: What does the music sound like! I don’t care if you have one tambourine and one drum stick… do it right! If God is going to be glorified in the music, then there ought to be some type of order. The look ought to be in order. The notes ought to be in order. Anything less will bring the attention away from who its meant to glorify. It only takes one minute to know how this is gonna last.
Minutes 7 & 8: What rhetoric is used to raise the offering? Is it biblical? Does it make you feel uncomfortable! Does it take forever! There ought to be a difference between the way someone tries to sell you a house or a car and how offering is raised at church. Pass on the gimmicks. It’s never a good sign.
Minutes 9-14: It really doesn’t take all night for you to get the preacher’s message. You don’t have to be a life-long church member to know when the preacher is heading down a deep slope. You ought to be captured within 5 minutes of the message. Again, if you bring someone who doesn’t know the Lord to church, are they going to be confused? Sleepy? bored? Does the message leave you confused? Not a good thing? Does it leave you convicted? GOOD thing!
Minute 15: If you had to judge the ministry on the program they gave you when you walked in, where do you fit? Do they have ministries that you are interested in? Do they have activities during the week? Stuff for your kids to do? Can you tell what their values are? Are all the announcements about raising money? Is there anything humane about the program? Any prayer requests? Any sick and shut-in?
Minute 16-17: Is there a call to discipleship that is sincere and thoughtful? Do people say ANYTHING to you after service? You ought to get at least 2-10 “Thanks for coming, please come again!”
Thats all! Be blessed! What did I miss?