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Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Visitors book review

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Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Visitors
by Jonathan Malm

Why should we make it harder for people than it needs to be?

That’s the premise, based on Acts 15:19, of “Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Visitors,” by Jonathan Malm, a simple, easy-to-read collection of ideas and suggestions to help you determine how effectively you’re connecting with those who visit your church.

Malm, a communications specialist, worship leader and pastor’s kid, provides a multi-faceted and thought-provoking approach to evaluating your church’s property and Sunday activities to help determine if you’re unintentionally driving visitors away.

The book is divided into five sections: First Impressions, Worship, Programming, Communication and The Big Picture. Each chapter is
only two or three pages long, making it easy to pick up the book as you have time and glean an idea or two that you can immediately apply.

From typical topics like signage, parking lots and greeters, to things you might not have thought of, like overlooked odors, insider lingo and outdated information, “Unwelcome” will provide much food both for thought and action, regardless of your church’s size or location.

Malm ends with the suggestion of recruiting a “secret shopper” of sorts – someone you ask to visit your church on a Sunday to evaluate the experience objectively and help you discover problems you might be overlooking. Who knows? You might just learn a few ways you can eliminate the “un” from “unwelcome.”


State Missionary Doug Rogers may be contacted via email at drogers@alsbom.org or direct at 334-613-2319.

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