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13 Habits of Highly Friendly Churches

Father’s Day was very special. My family was planning to attend the 11:15 a.m. service with my wife’s parents at North Metro Church where they attend. However, located just six miles to the east of North Metro is Piedmont Church of Marietta, Ga.

Led by the incomparable Ike Reighard, Piedmont is one of my favorite churches in America. Ike has been a dear friend for 15 years, and is always a privilege to reconnect with.

On Saturday, Associate Pastor Marlon Longacre (another dear friend for 15 years) advertised an event called DadFest on his Facebook page. In response to churches traditionally beating up on dads on Father’s Day for all we are doing wrong, DadFest celebrated all the positive contributions we bring.

DadFest included a classic car show, inflatables for the children, health screenings, hamburgers and hot dogs, and they even gave away Green Egg BBQ equipment.

My family attended Piedmont at 9:30 a.m., where we celebrated DadFest prior to arriving at North Metro in time for their 11:15 a.m. service. We called this our Church Road Trip.

That evening, we reviewed our day and the consensus was that Piedmont was the friendliest church we had attended in a long time.

As I began to unpack the reasons why, it became clear that Piedmont Church taught me 13 Habits of Highly Friendly Churches. Allow me to share my learnings with you.

1. Highly Friendly Churches Have Highly Friendly Senior Pastors.

The people are always a picture of the leader. In church environments, the congregation will always model its senior pastor. So goes the leader, so go the people.

2. Highly Friendly Churches Have Highly Friendly Staffs.

Led by Longacre, Donna Monroe and Roger Christian, the Piedmont staff exhibited incredible kindness.

3. Highly Friendly Churches Leverage Social Media.

Facebook works. Marlon’s Facebook promotions prompted me to attend. Having a social media strategy shows people you care about engaging them where they are.

4. Highly Friendly Churches Make Great First Impressions.

As I drove onto the property, I noticed dozens of large American flags impressively adorning the property.

5. Highly Friendly Churches Create Comfortable Environments.

If your church is looking to remodel its lobby and sanctuary, I highly recommend you visit Piedmont Church in Marietta for ideas. With its log cabin feel, it is the warmest, most beautiful lobby I have seen.

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Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.