Those First Ten Minutes

By: Waylon Bailey ~

“Guests decide whether or not they will return to a church within ten minutes of turning into the parking lot.”

Martha and I spent our Sunday yesterday with our pastor son-in-law and daughter and their children at their church in northern Virginia. We arrived Thursday. It has been rainy or cold or both ever since. It began raining Friday night and rained through Sunday. As we drove to Church it rained hard. You probably can understand we didn’t have great expectations for a lot of people to be present.

As soon as we turned into the parking lot, we were amazed. We saw cars everywhere. We also saw parking lot attendants braving the rain to direct traffic and get people into the building.

As we entered the building, we were immediately met by happy, excited door greeters.

I came into the worship center alone, having dropped the passengers as close to the door as possible. When I entered the worship center, the building was filled with people in seats, talking and visiting. The energy in the building was palpable.

It was a happy place.

My ten minutes were up, and I was hooked. My initial reaction was as positive as it could be. I would want to go that church and all others like it. By the way, the rest of worship was just as good,

As I have said before, you (whoever you are and wherever you attend) are the face of your church. People like me are showing up at your church all the time. Within ten minutes they have decided whether to return or not.

Here is my question for all of us: “Am I contributing positively or negatively to the atmosphere of the church?” Most people who attend are not the pastor of a church.  Many people who attend are not believers. Will they be encouraged to follow Christ? Most are not expecting a warm, kind, welcoming experience.

Are they receiving one? Are you doing your part to make it possible for them to hear the Gospel and come to faith in Christ?

Remember, those first few minutes count.

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Have a great week!