Neal Pollard I’m not sure where the phrase, “handle with care,” originated. It’s usually reserved for advice regarding that which is fragile or even volatile. It really is applicable to those who visit our assemblies because of their value and importance. They came through the doors of our church building intentionally and with a purpose. … Continue reading VISITORS—HANDLE WITH CARE!
Neal Pollard Once, I received a call from a woman who watched our TV program. She shared her religious background with me, including the fact that she was raised in a church of Christ. While she was baptized many years before, she committed fornication, became pregnant, and had a child out of wedlock. She said … Continue reading A Warm And Welcoming Church
Neal Pollard It has been said that visitors make up their mind about a church in the first ten minutes of their visit. Before they’ll even discern the doctrine we teach or form an impression about the distinctiveness of our worship, they’ve already decided. If you will walk through the first ten minutes of each … Continue reading Meeting The Needs Of Newcomers
Neal Pollard While we must be concerned with doing what we do in worship according to Christ's expressed will, we must also be sure to reflect His love to strangers, newcomers, outsiders, and otherwise unfamiliar faces. It offends my sensitivities anytime I hear anyone complain that a church I love so much seems cold and … Continue reading Are We A Friendly Congregation?
Neal Pollard A Bear Valley member gave me a mailer she received from a new, area denomination. The oversized postcard, in attractive colors (the background of which looks to be a paint palette), leads with the header, “Messy Grace.” The subtitle reads, “It’s okay to not be okay.” The brief message beneath says, “God loves … Continue reading What Would Our Slogan Be?
Neal Pollard A visitor comes to worship services for the first time. This person is searching for meaning, purpose, and answers, perplexed and troubled by life and wanting to know the way. The services have already started, and the visitor slips into the first vacant seat available. This one is intrigued and engaged by what … Continue reading The Same Minute From Many Perspectives
Neal Pollard I am exasperated at how unfriendly the people at church are. They never speak to me. When they do speak, I feel as though I am simply being tolerated. I do not feel a part of their "crowd." It is so unfair! Yet, I have the answers for me and any other poor … Continue reading How To Make Others Friendlier
Neal Pollard Prefatory note: I am writing as a guilty party rather than an innocent bystander. The following words are directed inwardly at least as much as outwardly. It is getting hard to remember what we did before we got our smartphones. How did we keep from answering everyone's texts immediately or looking up the … Continue reading Please Hang Up Your Smartphone
Neal Pollard While we would be tempted to ask this of ourselves, that's really not a very honest reflection or indication of a true answer. But, thankfully, there are several whom we can ask. Don't miss the importance of their candor. Their answers are really the only ones that matter. Ask the parents of the … Continue reading Is This A Friendly Church?
Neal Pollard Occasionally, a Christian who has fallen away and is approached by a concerned elder, preacher, or other Christian will respond by saying the people at church were cold, unfriendly, or unwelcoming. They complain that they get the “cold shoulder” from the folks in the congregation. Could most of us try harder to reach out … Continue reading Warming Up The Cold Shoulder