13 Practices Of Highly Friendly Churches

Brian with Ike Reighard

Brian with Ike Reighard

Father’s Day was very special.  My family was planning to attend the 11:15 AM 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 b-b-q equipment.

My family attended Piedmont at 9:30 AM where we celebrated DadFest prior to arriving at North Metro in time for their 11:15 AM 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 Piedmont Church taught me 13 Practices 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. Brian with Marlon Longacre

    Brian with Marlon Longacre

    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.
  6. Highly Friendly Churches Passionately Serve Their Local Communities – The previous week, 50+ Piedmont youth performed over 25 service projects in their community.  Today alone, the church served lunch to 80+ hair salon employees whose business is located directly across its street.  On Sunday, June 30th, the local high school ROTC Color Guard will be part of a historic military uniform display in honor of Independence Day.
  7. Highly Friendly Churches Care About Those Attending Their Church – Health screenings were available to all in attendance.
  8. Highly Friendly Churches Are Multi-Ethnic And Multi-Generational – The platform featured African-Americans, Latinos, Caucasians, men, women, seasoned, and young.  Highly Friendly churches build bridges with those who look differently than they do.
  9. Highly Friendly Churches Use Humor – Church should be fun.  Few people have the natural humor of Ike.
  10. Highly Friendly Churches Have Volunteers Who Are Glad To Be There – Once again, the people are a picture of the leader.
  11. Highly Friendly Churches Care About The Things You Care About – If you care about the things I care about, I will care about the things you care about.  Ike, Donna, and Marlon were very, very kind to my daughter.  They knew the key to my heart.
  12. Highly Friendly Churches Are Passionate About Getting Better – Marlon called me the next day and discussed Piedmont’s plans for improving and delivering even better ministry.
  13. Highly Friendly Churches Make You Glad You Were There – The next Church Road Trip my family takes will include a return visit to Piedmont.

If you live in Marietta or Kennesaw, GA and looking for a church home, I can’t recommend Piedmont Church enough.  If you visit, you will discover one of the friendliest churches you could possibly find.


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About briand@injoystewardship.com

9 Responses to “13 Practices Of Highly Friendly Churches”

  1. charles stone on 19/06/2013 #

    Great word use with Highly friendly. Loved I. One of my passions is how the brain affects life and leadership. Humor actually puts people in a good mood because it engages our brain’s reward center.

  2. Douglas Scaddan on 22/06/2013 #

    Loved it! Thank you for sharing. Especially loved the log cabin feel you decribed!

    • briandodd on 23/06/2013 #

      Douglas, thank you for the comments. If you are ever in the Atlanta area, you must contact Ike and go by and see their church. Amazing!

  3. Is it fair to say the other church you visited had some things to improve on in their friendliness rating?

    • briandodd on 23/06/2013 #

      Believe it or not Carissa, my experience at North Metro was just fine. I just happened to blown away by the treatment at Piedmont. I certainly hope it did not come across that way. Piedmont was just over the top.

  4. Laurie Neumann on 12/07/2013 #

    Wow, this makes me want to visit there! Although we are very fortunate to have our own friendly church. And you’re so right – the friendliness of the pastor is passed on to the congregation. Almost everyone who goes there is involved in some way or another, and no one serves grudgingly – very cheerfully, in fact.


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