A news blurb came on the radio a couple of days ago.. something about “mystery worshippers” over in Europe.

Isn’t it ridiculous when we have to resort to having people come in undercover to see if the church is doing its job? We are supposed to represent Christ; we’re meant to reflect Him in our lives. There should not have to be spies who come in to our churches solely to see if we are welcoming, what our music and sermons are like, how clean the bathrooms are, etc.

I guess it is good, in a way, to have people who do this kind of thing… people to give you their opinions and ratings of what you are doing and how you could improve. But.. the thought that keeps coming to my mind is that.. shouldn’t we act the same way whether or not we have people coming in to spy on us? If we act differently when we know that at any time some mystery person could come in to grade us, then we’re really not being Jesus to the world. We can’t be hypocrites and expect people to want to come to our churches. That is just messed up.

Every visitor who walks through the doors and every regular attender… they all need love. Each person needs to be shown that they are welcome. They all need to know that we want them there and are glad they came.

It’s pretty sad when we are so bad at showing God’s love to others that we have to pay people to come in secretly and pretend like they are just any visitor when they are really there to rate us on the whole atmosphere of our church.

My church hasn’t been graded like this… as far as I know, it’s only happening in Britain at this point. But ya know, maybe it would really be a good thing. Maybe it would cause people to take another look at the way we come across. We’ve not been graded by somebody who has been hired as a “mystery worshipper”… but I have heard feedback from people who have come to my church. I’ve heard from people who have felt welcome there from day one. And it’s always great to know that. However, I have also heard from those who didn’t feel so welcomed. One couple came for a whole year and never felt welcomed into our church.. so they left.

It really disturbs me.

Next time you go to church, make an effort to go out of your way to meet somebody new and tell them how glad you are that they chose to come. It really does make an impression on them. I promise.