When you think of coming to church the word that comes to mind is usually not "intentionality" -- at least, I'm guessing it's not. But perhaps it should be. Do you attend church as a consumer of goods and services or do attend church as one who wants to connect with God and others, but understands the importance of others connecting to God and others as well? If we want to see our churches grow and become places where guests feel at home, those of us who call the church home have to make that transition easy for them.
The way this looks can vary, but the core elements remain the same. When we come to church, we must have our eyes on the lookout for guests and people we notice are sitting alone. Instead of running to our circle of friends, why not have the circle of friends make the intentional effort to divide and conqueror. It is imperative that we begin to see our church through the eyes of the first time guest. We have to be able to answer the question of whether our church welcomes people into community or makes them feel like there looking in from the outside. This is all fixed and handled through intentionality.
If you are woman at church and you see another woman that you have not met before, walk across the room or through the lobby and go introduce yourself. Ask her about what she does, where she's from, and perhaps how she heard about the church. Same goes for the men. DON'T ASK PEOPLE IF THIS IS THEIR FIRST TIME THERE!!! As innocent as the question is, if it is not their first time, you just made the person feel unnoticed. Start asking people if they have found a small group to attend. Ask them if they are enjoying the teaching series. Whatever you do, just make sure you're in the company of those we gather to reach every week.
Remember, if you have taken time, energy, and prayer to invite your friends and family to church, you want to know that others in the church, not just you, want to ensure they have a great experience when they come. We have to always be ready for that person. I prepare my messages every week with one person in mind: the person who is coming to church for the first time ever or in many years, who may never step foot in church ever again. This is how I prepare and deliver my messages. Statistics show that people who find relational connections at church will actually "stick" to that church, those that don't will eventually fade away. In other words, Sunday services won't carry them forever. Let's make the effort to be intentional with our time on Sunday's at church and seek to create an environment in which people far from God can find Him and those who walk with Him can journey deeper. You have the power in your hands to create that environment.