"Are you new?" I was asked this question when I walked into a church in Hagerstown, Maryland a while ago. What kind of question is that? Think about it. My response to that question went something like this: "I am not new. I've been on this planet for thirty-some years. But today does happen to be the first time I have visited this particualr establishment."
That was probably not the response that the greeter at that church was looking to hear from me. I have this pet-peeve about being asked if I am "new." I find that people in churches often talk about visitors or potential visitors as "new people." But I wonder how "new people" feel about being described this way. It isn't their fault that they haven't been part of an organization as long as someone else. I am concerned that this type of language tends to drive people away rather than welcome them in. So let me urge you to stop talking about anyone as being "new" unless they were just born in the past year.