As leaders of 200churches, our desire should be that our churches would, at the very least, be welcoming. There really is only one chance to make a first impression and we want people to experience a welcoming and friendly atmosphere when they come into our church. But how?
In Andy Stanley's excellent book, "Deep and Wide," he writes about creating irresistible environments, and much of what he focuses on has to do with facilities. While we'd encourage you to read his book and take his thoughts to heart, we also recognize that as leaders of 200churches we often have very limited budgets and facilities to work with. We can keep the church clean, but we couldn't possibly afford a remodel.
What we'd encourage you to start with isn't facilities, but people. We can have a welcoming and inviting environment at our church, and it's the people who will create that environment. It begins with the leadership, but eventually bleeds down to everyone in our congregation.
At 200churches, we believe there are 5 elements to a welcoming atmosphere, and all of them can be easily achieved no matter what your budget or facilities are:
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