An unchurched person reports on an unannounced visit to a local church. Could it be yours?
—A 30-something unchurched male visits a megachurch in Detroit, Michigan on Oct. 11, 2015, at 11:45 a.m.
What was it like when you entered the building?
The greeter projected happiness from afar and welcomed a flurry of visitors with friendly enthusiasm. Upon shaking his hand, his greeting felt more powerful and genuine. The general atmosphere was lively, exciting and bright even moments before entering the sanctuary.
Was it obvious where the children’s ministry was located and that it was clean, secure and well-staffed?
The kids seemed generally happy and the caretakers exuded a great sense of pride and professionalism. If I had kids, I certainly would feel comfortable leaving them in the hands of the church.
Did you observe anything that would lead you to believe that the church values diversity?
The church was predominantly African-American. The advertised services catered toward this audience. The only visible diversity was within the age ranges. However, the outreach of the church definitely portrayed a highly active congregation that reached out to the community. I would suggest they produce material inclusive of all races.
Describe the service.
The music was explosive, exciting and entertaining! You couldn’t help but move your body, even if you’re a reserved person. Honestly, the whole service felt like a grand gospel concert! The message was superb! The pastor elaborated on the book of Exodus, mainly drawing from the example of Moses and the Red Sea. His words were infused with real-life scenarios that were easily relatable. He invited the congregation to “step” into our greatness, which was a powerful exercise. The concept was absolutely clear, wildly enjoyable and surprisingly delivered with swiftness in less than 40 minutes. I was glued to every word and the congregation was so responsive that there was no need for visual aids or props.
Overall, how friendly would you say the church was to you during your visit?
I felt extremely welcome and encouraged to visit again. It was an illuminating and empowering experience, one that truly rejuvenated my spirit!
Would you return to the church?
I was actually on fire about returning, mainly because of the warmth and positive vibe of the church. I was impressed with the leadership and highly recommend and invite family and friends to this church for a jolt of empowerment and real applicable lessons. The entire spectrum, from young to old, would be attracted to the energy of this church!
Adapted from a report provided by Faith Perceptions, which has evaluated more than 3,500 worship services across the United States. Visit FaithPerceptions.com.