Cleaner Restrooms = Better Worship


My ministry responsibilities often require me to regularly drive the same roads around Kansas and Nebraska. So, I’m pretty familiar with the rest stop and convenience store restrooms along those routes. I know the ones I’ll stop at again because of their cleanliness and the ones I’ll never return to again because they’re always filthy, never have the necessary supplies, and have archaic or broken plumbing fixtures.

We don’t usually talk about broken toilets and dirty sinks in most worship conversations. But the restroom is usually the last place many first-time guests and regular attenders stop before they are asked to join in singing the first worship song.

We are often good at considering how to engage people during the service but don’t always think about some of those distractions that might be derailing worship before the service even starts. We assume the theological depth of our worship service will encourage participants to engage and return. And that might actually be true if we could see beyond some of those blind spots of mediocrity we seem to have gotten used to.

So, in addition to focusing on worship service sermons and songs, churches should also consider their spaces and structures. We’ve all heard the adage about only getting one shot at a first impression.

Considering restrooms might seem shallow compared to spirit and truth worship. But first-time guests often visit with little or no understanding of theological worship. They do, however, appreciate excellence, cleanliness, and their own comfort or its absence. So, wouldn’t it be worth a little effort and expense to remove some of those distractions that could be preventing them from going deeper?


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