I'm reading this incredibly honest book about a former pastor who is trying to discover what 'non-christians' think about church. He hired an atheist to go to a dozen or so churches with him (various sizes, styles, etc.), and then to honestly critique his experience.
During and after the service they would make notes, and discuss the various aspects of the church service--music, offering, message, etc. Their experiences are the substance of the book.
It is incredibly revealing, and really puts one back on one's heels to make some pretty large changes.
For example, why don't people talk to other people in church? How could a visitor not be welcomed personally, by someone who isn't the official 'greeter'? Aren't we supposedly looking for new people to come to church?
And why do we think people who don't go to church are most interested in being debated and 'converted'? Perhaps they are actually more interested in conversation than conversion; looking for friendship and relationship more than being dragged to church.
The whole concept really rings true in my own heart, and affirms my own style.
Here is a brief interview between the 'Christian' (older guy) and the 'Atheist" (younger guy). The book title is Jim and Casper Go To Church. Enjoy, but prepare to be challenged.
40 minutes ago