By Thom S. Rainer
Would you like every guest who attends your church to become an active and fruitful member?
I know. Dumb question.
It’s really a rhetorical question since all church leaders and members would respond with a resounding “Yes!”
So we tried something rather radical to find out what gives church guests a good experience. We asked them. The question was very straightforward: “What would you advise churches to do so that guests can have the best experience possible?” Here are their seven top responses:
- “Make sure your signage is clear and helpful in the parking lot. Our family of six rarely gets ready morning without some level of conflict. I come to church stressed. I don’t need to be stressed further by not knowing where to go in the parking lot.”
- “Provide clear signage to entry points to the church. I am new to our area, so our family has been visiting churches. I have really been surprised how many churches do not have signs that clearly point to where we are to enter.”
- “Have a manned information booth [or table] right where we enter. Some churches put their information person or booth in such far out places that they are not useful at all.”
- “Greet me casually, not in a contrived stand and greet time. The stand and greet time is so artificial. I know how friendly a church is by the greetings I get when I enter and when I leave.”
- “Show me where to take my children. Even better, take me to where I am to take my children.”
- “Sit with me. I’ve been in some churches where we were avoided like the plague. No one sat with us.”
- “Explain things I might not understand. Even though I’ve been in church for over ten years, every church is a bit different. If your church does something that is not typical, let us guests know both the ‘what’ and the ‘why.’”
We can speculate what guests would like, or we can listen to them. We took the latter path and gleaned some nuggets of helpful information. Let us know what you think.