You do not have to have Tim Keller or Craig Groeschel speak; neither do you need to have the finest auditorium, worship team, or coffee. But we still all can care for some basic minimums, and to do less may mean you are yawning at your main billboard for the church, your weekend worship service.
The least we can do starts at the parking lot:
…Clear directions from the parking lot, after the driver chooses a space left open for guests.
…Greeters at the door with a smile and readiness to help you find the nursery, restroom, coffee, or worship room.
…A service that starts when the big hand hits 12. Nothing sillier than a countdown to zero on the screen followed by a three-minute lull.
…A first song that most people know and can sing well.
…A joyful and warm welcome from up front.
…Just the right number of worship songs so that your legs do not quiver or your voice give out.
…A “modesty nazi” who checks what the singers wear so there are no distractions.
…Songs that are addressed to God and not just how you feel about yourself.
…A pastoral prayer that is not made up while guitar-strumming, and has some worship involved. I recommend the P-R-A-Y guide — Praise, Repent (or confess, in a quiet moment); Ask, a series of requests to our Lord; and Yield, to the theme of the day.
“Bridge prayers” are not acceptable, just to move people around on the stage.
…A sermon that gets your attention at the start, exposes what the Bible says, applies this to real life, and ends somewhere near the expected time. Pastors who say it does not matter how long you go are not aware why regulars do not invite guests.
… A brief explanation of how personal salvation with assurance relates to the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
…A response song or prayer that gives you an opportunity to respond to the sermon applications.
…A way to find out more about the church or our Lord as you leave — a way that seems feasible.