Are You a Welcoming Church?

Every church wants to be a welcoming one, but when it comes down to it, can you classify your church as a welcoming church? The problem is that most churches don’t know how to evaluate how hospitable they really are. Because we eat, sleep, live, and breathe “church,” it’s hard to sometimes take a step back and evaluate our guest services strategy.

A few weeks ago, I ran across this presentation from Church Juice. It’s chock full of valuable insights and best practices for cultivating a welcoming spirit within your church. As I thought about it, I came up with several questions that could help churches and pastors with their welcoming strategy.

First, here are a few “yes” or “no” questions:

· Is there any part of your vision statement that values welcoming others?

· Do your staff and volunteers know the value in making others feel welcome?

· Do you provide guest parking?

· Do you have a welcome center?

· Are you providing visitors with next steps?

· Does your church’s Web site answer questions visitors might have?

· Do your church members realize how important a visitor’s experience can be?

Next, answering the following questions on a scale of 1-10 will help you get a better picture of how to improve:

· From a visitor’s perspective, how navigable is your Web site?

· How equipped and trained is your volunteer team?

· How easy is it to follow your church signage from the parking lot to the intended destination?

· How often do your greeters smile?

· How confident are you in your follow-up process?

What other questions would you add to the self-evaluation questionnaire? Are there ways that your church has seen success in welcoming guests?  

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paulloyless@churchleaders.com'
I love the Church. As the CEO of d2design, I work to equip the church on mission through innovative church marketing strategies. I have spent over a decade working with pastors and church leadership, helping them discover the most effective ways to connect with their communities.