Visitors are Like Detectives

In the past I have had discussions with people regarding the necessity of worrying about first impressions in church ministry. I wonder to myself (and I guess whoever reads this) "if the restaurant industry knows first impressions count shouldn't the church care as well?"
"Customers are like detectives looking for clues on how good the service and food will be," Eileen Wall said. "The first thing they see is how it looks. The environment impacts expectations, once you get in there, that's where the people clues take over." Restaurant News, March 12, 2007
I love the idea of people being like detectives, although I expect the idea of church visitors being associated with customers makes some people instantly react. That is an understandable reaction. But at the same time, we have to acknowledge that the Sunday service is in some forms a consumable product for people far from God. Most churches even acknowledge this by encouraging visitors not to give but to simple 'enjoy the service.'
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