I am currently reading quickly through Simply Strategic Growth and #42 jumped out at me as one thing that often goes overlooked by long-time church goers: "Engage People in an Experience".
No longer is just opening the doors on a Sunday morning adequate enough for being an effective church. We must strive to offer our communities an experience that connects them with Christ on several levels and at multiple times during their stay on our campus. Tim points out that we must realize that people are no longer just looking for a church based on denominational labels or location, they are asking, "What kind of experience will I have?" and "What vibe do I get from the greeters?"
If we do not connect with the people coming through our doors from the moment they enter our campus, then we stand a good chance of not seeing them again next weekend. As Mark Waltz says, "We have 10 minutes to "wow" them."
This is something we are working hard at here at Trietsch, but we are still learning. We strive to make our worship an experience that leads to life change, but continuing efforts need to be made on the hospitality end of things (my charge) in order to prepare the way for the message to impact the hearers. The members of the church need to realize that we "preach without words" on a continual basis and that our attention to "the experience" will reap benefits for eternity.