When I got out of full-time ministry I had the chance to go around and visit alot of different churches the past several weeks. Either visiting friends or just checking out some churches that I might be interested in becoming a member at, it's was a unique experience.
If I was being honest, I am really not much into church hopping, but at the same time, It's nice to be able to visit different churches to see how they worship, operate, and treat visitors. Some churches I've visited haven't change their methods or styles in 30 years, while others seem to change every week, which neither is probably ideal. Some are very focused on their current members while others are focused mostly on people who don't have a church home.
I've felt very welcomed in some churches and very alone in others. I think those of us that are raised in church or spent most of our lives in one or two churches forget what it's like to be someone that is looking for a church home or seeking God. Some people are never satisified, they can't find the church that caters to them so they church hop every year or two.
I don't really have as many answers as I have questions. I just think some churches could go a long way in reaching lost or those visiting by being friendlier and not expecting unchurched people to act likes christians. I think we get so caught up in our weekly worship routines we forget what it's like to be lost or what it's like for a visitor to come and visit a church looking for a place to belong.
I believe there is a church out there for almost any background, taste, and preference and I don't think that is a bad thing, as long as they preach the Bible and Follow Jesus. It's not healthy when churches progressive or conservative try to pressure people to believe that their church has the market on the true way to christianity. I think both conservative and progressive churches, traditional and contemporary churches, country and city churches can reach people in their own methods and markets, as long as they don't claim their methods are the only way. Jesus is still the same Savior no matter what bible translation, song style, or church denomination you use.
I guess my point today is don't get discouraged if you go to a church you don't like, keep looking because in time, you'll find one that fits your needs. Also at the same time, don't just go to a church and sit in a pew get involved. Once you find a church you like and where you feel God wants you then place your membership, get invovled, and serve God. If you are a member of a church make visitor's feel welcome and remember they are seeking so don't pressure them, but let them know you are glad they are there.
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful."