I’ve heard about a recent study that showed that most visitors decide within the first 7 minutes of their initial visit, whether or not they will come back to your church. That’s starting from when they drive into your parking lot. If you’ve ever visited another church before, you can probably relate.
This is pretty significant. So, how you can use this information? In the next few weeks, try an experiment. Go to a worship service at your church with the point-of-view of the 1st time visitor. Better yet, convince someone you know who hasn’t been to your church to do it for you. Maybe give them a questionnaire to fill out.
As you drive into the parking lot what do you see? Does the parking lot look crowded? Unkept? Or even unsafe?
Are there any parking lot volunteers to help guide you? How far did you have to walk from your car to get to the church building?
When you get to the building is there anyone greeting you with a smile? Or, are the greeters too busy having a conversation amongst themselves? Or even worse, is there no one at the door?
Once you’re inside what do you see? What do you smell?
I recently heard that there are companies overseas that blow the smell of fresh, new cash into their vents and it actually increases the workers’ productivity. I am certainly not recommending blowing the smell of cash through the vents of your church, but we often dismiss the importance of smell. Yet, it is such a powerful sense that all of us have.
There are so many more questions we can pose. But, for the sake of keeping this from becoming a book, I would like to end with this thought:
When is the last time you got together as the church leadership team to discuss the first time visitor’s experience?
It is a valuable investment of our time and resources to do all that we can to make the first time visitor feel at home. Whether they are non-Christians or Christians looking for a new church home, God is giving your church the opportunity to reach out to them. And, we are called to be good stewards of that opportunity.
-article by guest blogger, Wisdom Moon
Wisdom is the Founder of AllAboutWorship.com