Posts Tagged ‘bad church day’



Top 10 Worst Church Moments from a Church Secret Shopper

I have attended hundreds of church services as a church secret shopper. I’ve had thousands of conversations with volunteers, staff and visitors. Here’s my list of the top 10 worst things people said to me: 10. “Excuse me, but you’re sitting in my seat” It seems cliche but it happens more often than you think. 9. “ya’ not from around here, are ya?” Older man said to me after I asked directions to the restroom. I didn’t respond, but I was thinking: “What gave it away? having all my teeth?” 8. “Follow the blue line. It’s kinda of complicated. Good luck.” Said the two men sitting inside the information kiosk before turning to each other and finishing their conversation. They pointed to a board on the wall with multiple color lines leading to different locations on campus. 7. “Nazarenes are a lot like the Baptists, but holier,” middle aged man…

Read More

My Bad Parking Lot Experience: Why First Impressions Matter

It’s hard to overcome a negative first impression. Your first gut reaction about a church, a business or even a person,  will determine how you feel about that institution or individual for a long time.  A while back I visited a well-known, fast growing congregation in Florida. I was not doing a secret shopper visit or a communication audit (some might find it shocking that I attend church without getting paid for), but I felt compelled to share with a staff member some of my impressions, specifically my run in with a parking lot attendant. I was cutting it close to get to the church by 8:30 for their first Sunday morning service. As I tried to follow the serpentine of cones that led me around the back of the property and again back to the front, I realized that the cones were not there for the sake of the…

Read More

Bad Advice from Church Board Members

I’ve been in a lot of church board meetings. A LOT. For the first 15 years of my professional career, I was on the staff side of the table. Since I valued my job and wanted to keep it, most of the time, I often just sat there quietly as people disguised bad advice in spiritual terms. Well, mostly quietly anyway. For those of you who know me, you understand that I don’t do “quiet” very well. There are a lot of great business men and women of faith in church boards that have inspired and mentored me throughout my career. And there are some who should never have been there in the first place. I’ve heard a lot of bad advice and theology dispensed by volunteer leaders cloaked in the guise of concern and spirituality. Here’s a short list of stuff I’ve heard through the years that have stuck…

Read More

Bad Church Hires: What You Don’t Know Can Cost You a Lot

The wrong person in your staff can cause you not only headaches, but a bad hire can be the difference between amazing growth and a church split or even an early retirement from the ministry. Not long ago I went to dinner with a friend who shared with me what could’ve been a staffing nightmare. A charismatic personality and a winning smile, had my friend convinced that this man was the right person for a key position in his church. There were red flags, however. First, our candidate seemed very eager to leave his job. He put his house on the market before he even got an official offer from my friend’s church. He began looking for a house in the new city right away. Things were moving fast–too fast indeed. But thanks to a new HR policy my friend’s church had put in place a few months prior, he…

Read More

Living Through Church Business Meetings

I have been around churches a long time. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the worst in people come out in the name of Christianity. And, sadly, most of this poor behavior I’ve witnessed during church business meetings. Once during a particular quarrelsome evening where two feuding segments went at each other’s throats with wild accusations, I noticed the church secretary taking very few notes for the official minutes. I leaned over and asked her, “How are you going to write this down?” “It’s simple,” she replied, “I usually write, ‘much discussion followed.’” Well, I’ve sat through church business meetings that started at supper time and ended almost in time for breakfast. Those marathon meetings usually have one thing in common: strife. You can tell you’re headed for a church showdown if a bus of inactive members who haven’t been around in years suddenly shows up for the mid-week business meeting. I’ve observed…

Read More