Secret Shoppers and Churches

I got this comment yesterday to a post and chose not to post it there, but decided that I’d blog about it.

Appreciate your call to courage. At ___________ we’ve extended this invitation to Christians as well as our most challenging customers as well. Non Christians.

Go ahead and place this Ad in Craigslist and you’ll get all the real feedback you want

Need People Who Aren’t Christian to Review Church Service

Criteria: Age: 20-30 / do not currently believe Jesus Christ is God / not mad at Christians

Task: Attend a church service in your local area and complete a survey

You will go anonymously – like a visitor

You will be treated like any other visitor is treated in this church

This is serious interview -not a set up- no one will try to convert you

You are being hired to help us see ourselves through the eyes of Outsiders

$50 per person flat fee

Now I know that the guy who left the post is a real person with a real ‘ministry’ that has good intentions. Not real sure that his comment was relevant to my original post (however, in the end it did get my attention, and I’m sitting here writing about it…so maybe it was effective after all) What do you think of this? Do you think that we should have secret shoppers come into our churches? Have you ever done this? Do you care how ‘outsiders’ see you?

I’ve known several folks who have done this. I’ve done secret shopping for businesses in the past. I’ve been involved in focus groups on both sides of the glass.  I think it is valuable information that we can takeaway from them.

I’m being facetious here, because, well… ummm… I think we do need to be aware of outsider/visitor perception of the church. I think we can get to a point where we are so insider focused, that we forget what it feels like to be an outsider or visitor to your church.

What say you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “Secret Shoppers and Churches

  1. As a non-Christian who’s been to many Christian services, I think it’s a great idea. There are so many things about a congregation that can be attractive or repelling to someone who isn’t a member and/or believer. If the goal of the church is to help people find a path to God, and I would assume that is the basic goal of most Christian churches, then it stands to reason that you would want to know how best to attract people who aren’t currently on such a path, and how to keep them coming back.

    • Thanks Aimee for chiming in. I really appreciate your thoughts on this.

      As you may or may not know, the Bible does say that ‘the Church’ is the bride of Christ. In it there are those who are His and those that aren’t. Only He really knows who those are because He sees and knows the heart of everyone.

      There are many that believe that with this being the case, we should be insider focused and not overly concerned with attracting the lost, because if God is actively working in their lives, than He will lead them towards Himself anyway. I agree that He does do this, but I also believe that the local church should be both attractive and inviting to non-Christians.

      • Interesting…I had forgotten about that aspect. Most of my “actively Christian” (for want of a better term this early in the morning) friends growing up didn’t interpret it in that way, so it’s not something that tends to stick in my mind.