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Top 10 Worst Church Moments from a Church Secret Shopper

Thanks to Maurilio Amorim for this great article.

 I have attended hundreds of church services as a church secret shopper. I’ve had thousands of conversations with volunteers, staff and visitors. Here’s my list of the top 10 worst things people said to me:

10. “Excuse me, but you’re sitting in my seat” It seems cliche but it happens more often than you think.

9. “ya’ not from around here, are ya?” Older man said to me after I asked directions to the restroom. I didn’t respond, but I was thinking: “What gave it away? having all my teeth?”

8. “Follow the blue line. It’s kinda of complicated. Good luck.” Said the two men sitting inside the information kiosk before turning to each other and finishing their conversation. They pointed to a board on the wall with multiple color lines leading to different locations on campus.

7. “Nazarenes are a lot like the Baptists, but holier,” middle aged man at a Nazarene church when I asked him the difference between a Nazarene and a Baptist church.

6. “You’re the prettiest thang I ever seen!” I’m not telling you who said it.

5. “We Lutherans are a homely bunch.” A greeter at a Lutheran church as I asked more information about her church. She was right.

4. “I don’t know anything. I can’t really help you. This is my first day at the information table and the person who was going to train me didn’t show up.”

3. “I’ve got dresses that are older than you!” I don’t really remember how I got into this one, but does it really matter?

2. “It must be a special day, I see a lot of strangers here today.” Misguided Music minister during a Sunday morning greeting time. No warm and fuzzies for this stranger.

1. “Hey, Mister, come back here! You’re not Catholic, are you? Give me the wafer back!” A Catholic Priest on the rightful suspicion I was impersonating a catholic worshiper during communion. I had to give it up.


What are your worst moments as a church shopper?

What can churches learn about our negative experiences?

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