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Video: What Lansing churches are doing wrong and right


Melanie’s observations after visiting 20 churches last year

by Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (January 20, 2023) – “This didn’t start out as a story assignment or anything,” says Journal Publisher Melanie Jongsma. “I was not doing this on behalf of The Lansing Journal. It was just a personal quest to visit as many Lansing churches as possible.” Along the way, however, she found that people were interested in what she was learning:

The 20 churches

The Lansing Journal hosts a business directory on our website, and the Church category includes 22 listings at this time. Melanie visited these 20 during 2022:

  1. All Souls Catholic Parish
  2. Bethel Church
  3. Cornerstone Church
  4. First Christian Church of Lansing
  5. First Church PCA
  6. First United Methodist Church
  7. Flesh Becoming Word Church
  8. Freedom Church
  9. Grace Church
  10. In The Upper Room Ministries
  11. Lansing Assembly
  12. Lansing Bible Church
  13. Lansing Church of Christ
  14. Lighthouse Community Church
  15. Living Word Church
  16. New Hope Church
  17. Oak Glen United Reformed Church
  18. Our Saviour Lutheran Church
  19. St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
  20. Trinity Lutheran Church

The listing in our directory is not complete. Churches who are missing and want to be added can email Melanie with the church name and contact info:

“Ideas for churches” notes

Though Melanie’s original intention was not to evaluate or critique the churches she visited, at some point during the year she did start jotting notes and ideas related to her experiences. She has copy-pasted those notes here in case they might be helpful:

  • Let people know where your front door is
  • Help people know where the worship area is once they get inside the building
  • If you really want visitors, make your building address and service times very obvious on your website and Facebook page
  • Maybe let people know what your dress code is, so they won’t feel overdressed or underdressed when they show up?
  • Community involvement idea: Advertise local businesses on your church sign
  • Community involvement idea: Participate in existing community events rather than starting your own program
  • Don’t make people fill out a form to get information about you
  • Realize that not every visitor is an extrovert
  • Keep your Facebook page current
  • Make sure your church is included in The Lansing Journal’s directory. This is the closest thing we have to a comprehensive list of Lansing churches.

Representing Lansing’s faith community

Churches are an important part of Lansing’s history and our ongoing community, and The Lansing Journal wants to make sure they are represented in the pages of this newspaper. Articles about churches are included in our Good Causes category of news. If your church is doing something that involves or impacts our community, please let us know. And if your church would like to let us help you get your name in front of our readers, let us know that too:

Have a video topic you’d like Josh and Melanie to discuss? They are open to suggestions. Email your ideas to [email protected], and they will both receive them.

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.


  1. Excellent observations, and my thoughts exactly on being a visitor. Sometimes board members think certain things are obvious, when they are not 🙂 I personally don’t like going somewhere where I don’t know what door to go in. It’s very nice when there are outside planters or decorations reflecting the main entrance. I notice for events with posters & facebook ads, bigger churches, like schools, have door numbers on each door, so you know where to enter for that event. This was pleasantly informative and hopefully word will get to the right people to make positive communication clear & welcoming 🙂

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