1. Tell them that they are in your pew. How dare they … it is your pew!

2. Tell them there is a dress code, that they need a tie, need to wear pants, need to take off their cap or need to dress up more.

3. Let them hear you gripe about everything from the sermon, to the song leader, to the song selection.

4. Don’t ask them if there is any thing they need or if there is anything you can pray about for them.

5. Have the preacher not be prepared.

6. Sing only old slow songs and do it with no life, feeling, heart or meaning. You know like, “Tis so sweet to rust in Jesus.”

7. Have the preacher preach about why everyone else is going to hell. And have him name names if he can.

8. Embarrass them by calling to much attention to them. You know, make the stand up and do the wave or wear party hats.

9. Completely ignore them like they are not there. Don’t greet them, welcome them or say hello to them.

10. Have a worship service that morning that has only a funeral type atmosphere. We’re not there to celebrate anything, unless you count the resurrection, your salvation, your hope, your blessings, your …

* So, what are some other ones I missed?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
22 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Tim Archer says:

    11. Don’t explain anything that is going on in your service. Expect that everyone knows what the Lord’s Supper is, what they’re supposed to do with the trays that come to them, how much (if any at all) they are expected to put in the offering, etc.

  2. Marie says:

    12. Greet them at the door, then send them off to fend for themselves trying to find the children’s classes and how to get them checked in.

    We have experienced #9 and getting stared at HARD for sitting in someones pew. It is even worse when after they have made you stand up (since you are a visitor), the person who stared you down for sitting in their spot introduces themselves and then proceeds to tell you they usually sit there. No welcome, glad your here just – that is my spot for future reference! :)

  3. TREY MORGAN says:

    AMEN Tim & Marie – excellent ones. Definate no-no’s. Add them to the list!

  4. lisa leichner says:

    oh, OUCH! I would love it if a visitor called someone out on that reserved pew thing. Wow, that makes me mad. I know that there are always people who like to sit in the same pew but I would be really ashamed if I knew someone who actually told a visitor that it was “their” pew.

    “Tis so sweet to rust in Jesus”?? That made me crack up.

  5. Monalea says:

    Members that have not been there in years……

    Tell them they have to go down front and repent of all their past sins.

    Tell them they need to loose weight.

    These are just a few that really did happen.

  6. The Preacher's Household: says:

    13. Have some make an announcmeent to make sure and be friendly to the visitors.
    14. Offer the members a cup of coffee and pour out the coffee left in the pot before all the visitors might have had a cup.
    Better yet,
    15. Offer coffee to the visitors after class but tell them they can’t take it in the auditorium.
    16. Tell the visitor we do not have a sanctuary (we don’t use that word).
    17. Use lots of church of christ religious words, like necessary inference.

    You joke but these happen. I have been told I needed to move because we were sitting in someone’s pew and his family would be coming in. We moved and they never came in. And I am sorry for these errors in judgement.

  7. TREY MORGAN says:

    James … I love #15 & 16 on your list. And how about trying to explain to them why we don’t use the word “pastor” for our preacher. Like they really need to know this at this time.

  8. TREY MORGAN says:

    Lisa there ARE people in this world that will do the “pew thing” if you get their seat. I’ve seen it. It’ll make you sick to your stomach

  9. Gallagher says:

    “Tis so sweet to RUST in Jesus…”

    I almst fell out of my chair laughing!! Awesome.

    Great list.

  10. DJG says:

    Talk a lot about giving/and or present the budget for the year.

    Make the visitor feel like if they are not a part of you…they are wrong/lost/doomed.

  11. TREY MORGAN says:

    djg … good one too. Talk about a lot of stuff they don’t understand….

  12. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it is time to preach a lesson on sharing (your pew).

  13. TREY MORGAN says:

    Anonymous… great idea on the sermon. I actually preached a sermon on that (although not the actual title). I called it “The Older Brother Syndrome.” We often like the prodigal’s older brother. We think because we’ve been here forever and have never wandered off … we should not have to bend over backwards when the prodigal returns.

    Can’t you hear the big brother saying… “Father, but I never left, why should I have to move down for this sinner to sit where I usually do.”

    Just a thought

  14. Mommysmart says:

    Ok, I know that this is about what not to do, but I have a really good “to do”.

    My brother attends Herritage CofC in Keller. They are the friendliest group of people. At every service they hand out little muffins with an attatched card of church info to all visitors. They don’t ask the visitors to raise their hands because if you are visiting they know it. They do a great job of making everyone feel welcome.

    Thanks for the good reminders, Trey!

  15. Bob Bliss says:

    Trey, another “10 list.” Are you becoming the “David Letterman” of the blogosphere?

  16. NB says:

    Make a point to notice that they might have trouble locating the particular verse in the Bible that you are reading.

    Make a joke about, (or question), a prayer request that they present.

    Gasp when they ask a question that you feel isn’t phrased appropriately for church.

    Ask them what church they used to attend.

    Act surprised when they ask you to explain more about a story or a person from the Bible because EVERYONE should know that story/person.

    Ask them to participate in saying a prayer aloud in front of everyone.

    Talk only about God and punishment.

  17. Neva says:

    Ask them what they believe about
    divorce and remarriage
    instrumental music and
    women’s role in the church

    and then tell them why people with that point of view are going to hell.

    (BTW this really happens too)


  18. Anonymous says:

    I like the positive attitude of everyone on this subject of a visitor actually coming or being invited to worship assembly to hear the gospel!

  19. lisa leichner says:

    Was that sarcastic, anon? We’re allowed to be sarcastic, aren’t we? It’s a way to get the point across — we all might have been able to contribute some more sarcastic “ideas” about how to turn off visitors, but the truth is we probably all saw one or two things on the list that we’ve done in the past too. So the post hit home that there’s always things we need to improve upon.

  20. TREY MORGAN says:

    Sarcasism is a regular on this blog. Actually being scarcastic is one of my “talents” or “gifts.”


  21. David Kirk says:

    The first time I took my wife-to-be (who dresses impeccably) to my mom’s church, a little blue-haired lady handed us a tract called “The Bible Teaches a Christian Woman How to Dress”.
    We were mortified.

  22. TREY MORGAN says:

    Good one David … a true story to add. I love the “blue haired” ladies. They always mean well don’t they.

    Blessings – and thanks for stopping by.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
  • good list. Don't forget Nickelback, OJ, ISIS and beer-throwing Blue Jay fans.
  • He was pretty tough to listen to as well.
  • As crazy as it might sound, Chris Collinsworth just might be worse to listen to than the song Christmas Shoes.
  • Please remember that some Christmas music is incredibly offensive to people with grandmothers who actually were run over by reindeer.
  • Unfortunately, not a great night for "bobcats." :)

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