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4 Questions Guests Are Asking Themselves When They Walk in Your Church Doors

Let’s enter the thought process of one of your guest families. What are they thinking as they approach your church for the very first time? Here are some questions guests are asking themselves when they walk into your church.

Question #1 – Where do I go?

Do you remember what it is was like to pull your car into a new church for the very first time? You don’t know where to go, where to drop off your kids, where to find the rest room or which way the auditorium is. 

Answer this question as quickly as possible:

Have clearly marked guest parking and make it the best parking on the lot.

Have parking lot attendants guide guests into this area. You can do this by having an entrance sign that says “Guests, turn on your hazard lights for reserved parking.”

Have clearly marked outside signage.

Make the signage big and bold. The signage should point the way to the children’s area. Point the way to the worship center. Point the way to guest parking. Last year, I went to visit a church on a Sunday morning. When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that there was no outside signage telling us where to go. There were also no parking hosts helping people. I ended up parking as close as I could get to what appeared to be the main entrance to the church.

We made the walk to the big, grandiose front doors. We tried to enter the front doors but found they were locked. There were no greeters there to tell us otherwise. Finally, after walking a good distance, we found the outside entrance doors. They were at the back of the building. Apparently the big front doors we tried to enter were just there for looks. 

After finding the doors to enter in the back of the building, we walked in. No greeters. No one to tell us where to go. I heard the music coming from the auditorium so we followed the sound. We followed the sound to the end of a hallway. There was a door there, so I opened it, expecting to enter the auditorium. But it wasn’t an entrance door to the auditorium. Rather, it was a door to the baptistry area. I shut the door in frustration and continued our search for the auditorium. We finally found it after several attempts of opening unmarked doors. If you want to see guests return, don’t put them through such an ordeal.  

Have greeters at each door. 

Let me say this again. Signs are great. Signs are needed. Signs are important. But signs can’t smile and welcome guests into your church. It takes people to do this. Happy people. Positive people. Smiling people.

Have hosts walk guests to their rooms. 

Don’t try to give your guests directions. The last thing they need is to get stressed out listening to someone explain where they should go and then trying to remember what they were told. Walk them there. Always walk them there. They should feel important and special that you would take the time to walk with them.

Question #2 – Will they be friendly?

Will anyone talk with them? Will anyone welcome them? Will anyone notice them?

How to answer this question:

Have the right people greeting. 

Make sure your greeters have a great personality, love people, and have the ability to make new people feel comfortable.

Make sure the friendliness factor is part of your church’s DNA. The friendliness factor should extend through their whole experience.

Show genuine interest in them. 

Move beyond the “welcome” and take time to talk with guests. Engage them in conversation and find out about their family.

Have the attitude “there you are” instead of “ here I am.”

Be just as friendly when they are leaving as when they were coming in.

Research shows the main two reasons why people decide to attend a church.

How friendly are you?

What do you have to offer my kids?

Stay tuned for questions 3 & 4. We will cover those next Monday.

This is an excerpt from my brand new book - "Be Our Church Guest." 


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