Top 10 Ways to Terrify a Visitor at Church

10. Look at them, but don’t talk to them.

9. Talk to them, but don’t look at them.

8. Make gratuitous references to “what Sister White” says, or worse “The pen of Hoy Writ”.

7. During Sabbath school ask someone to read the same text the visitor just read, only from another Bible Version because you prefer it to that heathen translation they have.

6. Let them sit by themselves, in their own pew.

5. Surround them at potluck with eager grins and hang on their every word because you haven’t seen a non-church member in 25 years and are curious what has been happening in society all this time.

4. Bring food to potluck that contains ingredients you can’t buy at grocery stores.

3. Rub their shoulders—especially this one.

2. Call them out in the worship service and have the stand up while you either cheer, applaud, or “amen” at them.

1. Use them as examples of what NOT to do in your sermon or Sabbath School talk.



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2 responses to “Top 10 Ways to Terrify a Visitor at Church

  1. Based on my latest church-visiting experience, I’d like to add: “Have as your speaker a man who wants to share his life story with the congregation … for an hour and fifteen minutes (and counting)….” We left after an hour and fifteen so I have no idea how long he actually went on for, but let’s say if I was church-hunting that’s NOT the place I’d come back to (though we were impressed with it right up til the sermon began).

  2. Martin Weber

    Sage wisdom, Pastor Pierce. I saw #2 happen firsthand in a church several years ago where a first-time guest was called out and asked to stand during the announcements. The intent was certainly good, but the effect was that this person has never come back to church since.

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