Imagine for a moment that someone in your area is looking for a good church to attend. They hear about your congregation from a friend or co-worker. As a result they decide to check it out. What can your church do to make guests feel more welcome, even before they get to door? Do these three simple things to let guests know that you’re glad they came.
- Make information easy to find. The church service times and directions should be visible. There are few things that deter guests more than the inability to find this information. I am still amazed at how many church websites omit or bury this. It should be on the church’s website, sign, every piece of literature and the phone greeting.
- Show them where to park. When they arrive you can roll out the red carpet even before they get to the door. Don’t assume they know where to park. Your parking signs should convey a message that the church is expecting guests.
- Let them know which entrance to use. Nothing is quite as embarrassing and frustrating for a first time guest, as using the wrong door. To avoid making guests feel awkward, let them know where to enter. Exterior doors should have signs indicating; “Fellowship Hall”, “Sunday School” and “Main Auditorium”, etc. It may be a good idea to post the service times on them as well. Unless you have a large auditorium, try to funnel everyone through one entrance. Not only does this make things simple for visitors, but allows the hospitality team to greet them. Plus, it gives them the added assurance they are in the right place.
Simple steps like these can make your guests feel welcome, even before they get through the door. Initial impressions of your church are important. Often visitors make a decision whether they will return, even before the main service begins. Let’s get rid of unnecessary barriers in our churches. And, pray that God will grow our congregations by making guests feel more welcome.