Entering a church service can be special, exciting, challenging and overwhelming. Consider the visitors’ perspective. They have not been there before so they are not sure what to expect. When exactly will the sermon be? How long does service last? What style of music do they play here?
These are just a few of the questions that a first-time visitor might have when coming to a service. Add to that, is there anyone I know here? Do I look okay? Will I fit in? First-time visitors to our church services are not sure of what they are stepping into. Even non first-time visitors generally have a sense of uncertainty when coming into a church. As the church family, we must make certain there is a connection, first with God and second with us. A few things for us to consider in regard to the visitors’ experience:
- The #1 reason visitors return a second time to a church is because that church was friendly.
- Visitors have expressed their willingness to be in church, feel God’s presence, hear God’s Word, and that they are considering a change in life . . . just by being there.
- 80% of conversions who have a social connection in the local church stay. The exact opposite is true for those who do not have a connection.
This means as a local church congregation we must do everything we can to make sure our visitors have a “friendly” experience. And we must do everything possible to build that bridge of connection. Here are a few suggestions:
- Have greeters in the church vestibule who know how to smile and shake hands and thank people for coming (and who mean it).
- Consider giving every visitor a nice, brief placard that explains what to expect in our services, and the Biblical basis.
- Take a five minute break “in service” for people to greet those around them in the auditorium.
- Publicly acknowledge the visitors for being there, whether generally or specifically, and give sincere appreciation for their attendance.
- Teach and preach about loving others until it just flows out of your people, touching every one they come into contact with– including visitors!
Brian Norman is a full-time International Evangelist. His experience includes pastoring and planting churches in America and overseas. Website: GlobalEvangelism.org Phone: (636)544-0627