Friday, November 21, 2008

Senses and Sensibility, Part 1

First impressions of your church campus and facility last. First impressions are automatic – taken in and recorded by our senses, often registered for later recall. More often than not, they make an immediate impact on our decision to participate and to return – or not. We may not agree with it or not, but the consumer mentality of the world we live in has moved full force into our church world. Our churches don’t compete with the “world” so much as the experiences of the world. How can the church learn from this?

Think about the experiences your typical guest or attender encounters during his or her daily routine. Do they have a favorite morning coffee stop? Do they listen to a particular style of music on the radio on the drive in to work – or do they travel in silence? Once at work (or school, or wherever they spend the greater part of their weekday), what is the environment like? Do they have favorite pictures around them, reminding them of what’s really important in life? Do they have a candle or aromatic device nearby, silently wafting a pleasant scent in the air around them? When it’s break time, or lunch time, do they go out to eat – to the same place most days? Or do they bring something from home? On the way home, do they listen to the same music (or silence) as the ride in – or so they switch to something more relaxing – or energizing? By now you get the picture – or do you?

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