What struck me were the conversations we heard before and after the service. First, no one spoke to us or greeted us or asked who we were. On one hand the anonymity was nice. On the other hand, my guess is no one was sure whether we were members, visitors, or regular attendees. Before the service one older man greeted another near us with a snide remark about the music chosen for the service. My guess is the older man was not happy with the lack of hymns. After the service, one woman in the line to leave complained to her friend that the preacher spoke so fast that she really could not understand him. The other woman shared that she was not planning to come back to the evening service herself, but she might invite her younger neighbors to attend! I thought of the children’s song: "Oh, be careful little mouth what you say!"
Of course, I began to wonder what guests hear when they visit our church. Mature believers know that everything we do and say is part of our witness. This is particularly true of what we do and say in church. Others are watching and listening. They may be guests visiting our church, or immature Christians, or children, or non-believing attendees. Do our words in church and life edify and bear witness to mature faith in Christ?