A recurring theme of this blog is whether church practices are decided with current or potential members in mind. Progressive churches, regardless of theology, weigh heavily toward the visitor or newcomer.
The outgoing message on your church’s phone is prime example. Most potential visitors call to find out the time of the Sunday service. This should come first.
Thus, your church’s outgoing message should be along the lines of:
You’ve reached Old First Church. Sunday services are at 9 and 11. We offer childcare up to age four, and Sunday school for kids and youth. Some people wear jeans and some wear their Sunday best. We’re a lively and engaging, multi-generational congregation that believes we're here for an important reason.
Come visit. You’ll be glad you did.
Everything else comes after this, such as, “Press 1 for directions on how to get here, Press 2 for office hours and a staff directory, Press 3 for building rentals, and Press 4 for whatever.”