Jollyblogger's recent post on whether churches should advertize gets into some interesting issues about the goal of advertizing. In particular, what sort of people do the advertizements intend to attract, and does that fit with the purposes of what a gathering of believers is for? What sort of people do we want coming to visit our congregations, and how do we get them there?
I'm not going to get into those issues, though I think they're worth thinking about. What drove me to comment (and thus, now, to expand on my comment here) was his side discussion of whether it's good to single out newcomers, in particular whether it makes a difference if the person is a Christian or a nonbeliever. Several people in the comments were saying that Christians like to be singled out, but nonbelievers aren't very comfortable with that. I don't think it's that simple. Some nonbelievers might like being noticed, but I think the more important issue is that not all Christians will want to be singled out. Extroverted Christians might like that, but if I visit a church and they do something like that I tend to get really turned off. I don't like to be made the center of attention (unless I'm doing something specifically requiring it like teaching, in which case I then won't want people not paying attention).
Our congregation allows people to introduce themselves if they feel comfortable doing so but puts no pressure on them. The last time we visited somewhere that singled us out as visitors, they trooped us up to the front of the congregation and made us stay up there for way too long, and we had to keep the kids under control while there. I left thinking of it as one of the worst church experiences I'd ever had, at least in part because of that (though there were some other things). It's completely counterproductive to do that sort of thing, even on a less offensive scale than what happened to us.
I have, however, seen Christians complain that no one talks to them after a service. While that's a real problem in a congregation, it shows you the misplaced priorities of the people who are complaining. The primary purpose of a Christian in attending a church is to serve God in that congregation. It is not to have our needs met. That's why other people are involved. Other people do have a responsibility to see to it that our needs are met. Our responsibility is not to see to it that they do so or to complain when they don't. It's to see what place we may have to serve others.
Given that so many people I've encountered have this attitude of thinking of church as a place for others to meet our needs, it's interesting that they can then complain about others' self-centeredness and insularity in cases when others don't meet their needs. The self-centeredness and insularity isn't exclusive to those not meeting their needs. It's part of their original method of evaluating the others, because that stems from a self-centered, insular focus to begin with. But this isn't all that surprising in the end. After all, selfishness breeds selfishness. It's often people who are part of a problem who continue to complain about the problem without recognizing their own role in perpetuating it.