Visiting A Church
Tips for visiting a church: (This post is taken from Ron Edmondson, a pastor in Lexington, KY, and adapted to our church and website).
Check out the website – You're doing that now! Most churches now have a website. Look through it as you're discerning whether or not a church fits your family’s needs, and we hope we do. On our website you can find more about what we believe, our children's ministries, our youth ministries, and other ministries that you can be involved in. Pay close attention to the schedule of services or activities you plan to attend. Our weekend service experience starts at 10:30 on Sunday mornings. We also have a midweek refreshing every Wednesday night at 6:30p.m., featuring a deeper breakdown of God's word with Pastor Casey for adults, and other discipleship classes for all ages. Also feel free to check out our full calendar of events.
Plan your route – On a first visit, you’ll feel uncomfortable being late, so figure out ahead of time how long it will take you to get there. By the way, it’s more uncomfortable for you if you’re late than us, so come in anyway, but avoiding doing so will make for a better first visit. (Get directions for BWC.)
Arrive early – Plan to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes earlier than the service starts. You’ll want to find the best seat. You may need to get your family situated in their respective areas. You may want to read some of the printed information made available before the service starts. You will be better acclimated to the room and more comfortable when the service begins. (More information about what to expect at BWC on Sunday mornings and what to do with your kids.)
Pre-register if an option – Lots of churches now allow you to register your children before arriving. It saves time and makes the check in process smoother once you arrive. We do not have this feature available at BWC as of yet, but our check-in process for your children is very simple. We do have an opportunity for you to submit your visitor information online. If you are a first time visitor, and you submitted a form online, please still visit our welcome center after a service on Sunday morning, let them know you submitted the form online, and then allow us to give you a free gift!
Don’t leave immediately – Some of the most dedicated volunteers, and usually the staff, are still hanging around. You’ll get a chance to interact on a deeper level and ask questions. Plus, you can learn a lot about the fellowship of a church by whether or not people linger.
Dig deeper – Hopefully the church is conscious of their first impression and trying to put their best foot forward for visitors, but this is not always true. Some great churches miss it with first time visitors. Give them a chance beyond that. Who knows? You may be there to help them improve that experience for others in the future. We hope your first time experience at BWC exceeds your expectations.
Make the most of your visit – It can be uncomfortable, but if you really want to experience the church, attend a Sunday school class or Bible study if offered. Find out about discipleship opportunities if they happen elsewhere. (Group Life at BWC) Figure out how people get plugged in and serve. (Opportunities to serve at BWC) You’ll need these activities for any church to ever truly feel like home.
Ask questions – Don’t assume. Ask. Many times something you don’t understand has a valid reasoning behind it. If you have a question, please visit our welcome center on Sunday morning before or after service, or feel free to contact us.
Consider where you can grow and serve best – Church should be selected based on more than whether you liked a worship service. That’s certainly part of it, but where can God use you and your family best? Where will you best grow? We hope that you find this to be BWC, but if there is another church in our community that you feel you can better serve and better grow, then we want you to go there. God is using many churches in our community to do some great things, and we pray that you find the church where you can plug in best, where you can be planted and flourish. If you need help discovering your gifts or how you can best serve, feel free to use our assessment tool.
Consider a second visit – Don’t mark a church off, unless it were obvious why you’re doing so. Sometimes it takes several visits before you know if a church is right for you.
We hope these tips help you on your journey to find a church home, and we do pray that God will guide and direct you in your search. If BWC can assist you in anyway, please don't hesitate to contact us.