Friday, October 07, 2011

Friendly First Five

Most church growth experts agree that the first 5 minutes of every visitor’s experience makes the biggest determination as to if that visitor will return to that local church. One seminar that I went to said that there are 9 “must haves” to connect visitors so that they will return. These 9 “must haves” include:

1. Clear signage on the street

2. Designated parking for visitors

3. Trained, friendly greeters

4. Direction signs in the church

5. Information center

6. Children’s classroom greeters

7. Clean bathrooms

8. Knowledgeable, helpful hosts

9. Professional bulletin (the average attender refers to the bulletin 7 times a service)

The worship service alone cannot effectively connect visitors. Why? Because people do not connect with programs, they connect with people. Starting new ministries are not the key to connecting visitors. People are the key to connecting visitors. Why is this so important? Because if a visitor returns a second and third time, they are far more likely to become regulars. For example:

10% of first time visitors become regulars

25% of second time visitors become regulars

45% of third time visitors become regulars

Visitors will ultimately ask themselves two very crucial questions. It is the answers to these two questions that will play a huge factor in if they will return. These include:

“Am I welcomed here?”

“Am I accepted here?”

So, as we move toward another Sunday, which will undoubtedly bring us many more visitors, what role will you play in people’s first five minutes here at E-Free? Will you…

1. Ask God to use you to connect a visitor to our church?

2. Purposefully seek out those who appear to be alone or look hesitant?

3. Smile and greet people you do not recognize?

4. Ask the name of someone you have never met?

5. Sit next to someone in the service that you do not know?

6. Invite someone to your Sunday School class or Life Group who doesn’t attend one?

7. Find a common interest with someone you know nothing about?

8. Invite someone out or over to lunch that you need to get to know better?

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