Preparing Your Church for Company

Preparing Your Church for Company

A few years back, we had a great speaker (Joe Toomey) come to our church to talk to us about church growth.  I just came across my notes from his “seminar” and thought I’d share them with my readers.  They are some great things to keep in mind if you want to make guests feel at home in your church.

A Few Statistics

  • All churches think they are friendly, but very few actually are to outsiders.  A new person must be greeted by 7 people to consider a church friendly.
  • The average church loses 10% of its people each year.   Try to go after the 10% leaving all the other churches.
  • You need to keep roughly 16% of guests in order to have a church that will double in 10 years.
  • If guest come back a second time, you will have an 80% chance of keeping them.  Concentrate on getting guest to return a second time.
  • The more front doors you have to your church, the better.  Front doors are all the ministries you have the invite guests such as small groups, worship service, kids programs, sports programs, etc.

How to Be a Good Host

  •  Invite guests with a personal invitation.
  • Arrive early to make sure everything is ready for the guest’s arrival.
  • Greet guests warmly at the entrance and escort them to their seats.  Lot attendants who greet guests are even better.
  • Hand guests a visitor card and give them a gift as soon as they come in.
  • Do something extra to make guests feel special.
  • Walk guests to the door and invite them back.
  • Back rows should be reserved for guests.
  • Give guests the best parking.
  • Give guests refreshments!

Remember, the people who live around your church seldom are thinking about your church.  They basically don’t even know you exist.  You are just another building.  You need to be “one notch up”.  Keep your church’s building one notch higher than the other buildings in the area.

First Impressions

  • People extend their first impression to your entire church.  How they view your first piece of literature gives them an image of your church.
  • Always be evaluating your building impression — the outside and inside.  Think about sights, smells, sounds, cleanliness, etc.
  • How are you going to attract guests to your church?  Word of mouth works well ONLY when a church gets above the average size of all the churches in the area.

How to Energize Word of Mouth

  • Avoid negative talk in your own church.
  • Share good news about your church.
  • Build good memories in the church to celebrate.
  • Provide business cards to all the people in the church so they can invite others to come.

Supplementing Word of Mouth (Other Advertising Strategies)

  • Yellow Page Ad
  • Direct Mail
  • Door hangers
  • Servant Evangelism
  • Missions Teams to knock on doors and personally invite
  • Mailers in the newspaper
  • Ad in the paper
  • Outreach events
  • Phone campaign
  • Ministry outreach

How to Follow Up With Guests

  • Friendly contact
  • Personal contact
  • Prompt contact (24-48 hours after visit)
  • With a gift
  • When they return a second time, invite them to lunch!


Other Resources:

Book: Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church

Book: First Impressions: Creating Wow Experiences in Your Church (Read my review here)

Book: Ignite: How to Spark Immediate Growth in Your Church

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  1. Very neat article. Fantastic.

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