This is the second part of the two part series. If you haven’t read the first part please read it before continuing.
6. How fast does the congregation leave the church after the sermon? Do people stick around and talk or is it like a ghost town? When people are making a mad dash to the door and don’t even talk to each other, what does that say to the observing guest? It states that we don’t care about our church and neither will you. You could take this a step further and say the visitor may come to the conclusion that the congregation doesn’t care about people as well.
7. Ignoring guest at the welcome center. The church could have the most friendliness staff at the welcome desk (talked about later), but if they talk with each other and not the guest that are seeking information, it serves no purpose. Most guest will just walk away not getting any information, and the church missing their one big opportunity to impress the guest.
8. Having grouchy greeters, parking lot attendants, or others that the visitor can see. Let’s face it, there are just some individuals that don’t have that personable skill to make first time impressions. We all have them in our families or friends that we know. While they have many other great and beneficial skills that we admire and need, grouchy people shouldn’t be placed in these visitor facing areas unless a lot of visitor training is required and can be recorded in church software program.
9. New visiting parents are uneasy about the child check-in process. If a new parent sees issues with the check-in process for their children, then they would quickly find another place to go. To a parent, their child’s safety is of the utmost importance. It’s priority one, even above their own safety. A church would be wise to understand this, and take action to ensure the system deployed to protect children has no loop holes. It should thwart many of the issues surrounding children’s safety in today’s environment.
10. Making assumptions on why the person came to church is sure to make a wrong first impression. In life we make assumptions on everything and many times they are wrong, like assumptions about why our spouse or kids acted a certain way, why our manager said something, etc. Talking with visitors is no different, in that we make assumptions like asking them where did they go to church before? You are assuming they did go to church, but how does that make a new visitor feel when this is the very first church they have ‘ever stepped’ into? Worst yet making them feel unwelcomed by asking them all kinds of questions about their doctrine or beliefs before you even know their full name, contact information, and purpose for coming to your church.
As you can see from the above points, if the church wants to help new visitors the most they should really do a full audit of everything from when they pull into the parking lot earlier, walk through the door and who greets them, to the signage on the building’s walls, to the service itself including children safety, and finally the follow up. There are many things to look at and review in regards to all the internal processes which should be reviewed at least annually.