Creating a Come and See Culture

Here are the notes from Andy Stanley at Catalyst One Day Seattle 2012

Creating A Come-And-See Culture : Three Essential ingredients


The church is a bunch of environments. Staff and volunteers are from various church backgrounds. Every person that shows up to do ministry has a picture in their head of what a win should be. The problem is that if everyone doesn’t have the same “win” in mind it creates problems. You need to develop 3-5 win definitions of your own.  North Point is unapoligcially  attractional. If Andy could heal people at will like Jesus did, he would. He cannot. Instead he can do great children’s ministry and have a great band.  Highlight the word “crowd” in the book of Mark. Everywhere Jesus went he was surrounded by people who couldn’t get enough of him. Jesus was attractional.

Every single program at your church is being evaluated every week by visitors and congregation members. If everyone is evaluating, shouldn’t we be too? When we get this right you create a lot of synergy with your staff. There will be far more wins because everyone is working from the same page.


A. Setting – the physical environment.

B. Settings create first impressions.

C. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. Andy doesn’t want issues in the environment to distract from ministry. For example, when asking people about their environment, North Point found that men want to know how long a service will be. Now they start each service by saying how long it will be. Now there is no concern about service length to distract from the worship experience.

D. Every physical environment communicates something. There are no neutral physical environments. Time in erodes awareness of. Do you even know what is in the lobby of your church?

  • Clean. Clean says “we’re expecting you.”
  • Organized. Organized says we are serious about what we are doing. A national bank lobby is the most organized because they want people to trust the bank with their money. “A business that looks orderly says to your customer that your people know what they are doing.” – Michael Gerber
  • Safe. Safe says we value your kids as if they were our own. Anything that communicates safety is an invitation for parents to leave their children with you.

E. Design, decor and attention to detail communicate what and who you value most. Don’t miss an opportunity to reach culture because you are afraid you are appealing to their consumer instincts.

F. Design, decor and attention to detail communicate whether or not you are expecting guests and whether your organization is insider- or outsider- focused.

G. Periodically, we all need fresh eyes on our ministry environments. If you ever had a babysitter you know what this is about. You arrive home and see everything that has happened, even if the sitter does not.


  1. Are your ministry settings appealing to your target audience?
  2. Does the design, deor and attention to detail of your environments reflect what and who is most important to you?
  3. What’s starting to look tired? Address it… unless you just want to keep the people you have.


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Rob Cizek

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
— Glenna Hendricks
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright

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