Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions 3 Not-So-Obvious Reasons Church Visitors Don’t Return to Your Church

3 Not-So-Obvious Reasons Church Visitors Don’t Return to Your Church

During service, the guest noticed that the words were wrong on some of the slides, and there were several typos in the bulletin.

On the way out to the car, they noticed the pile of junk on a table in the corner, seemingly the same pile of junk that was there when they visited last Christmas.

In the parking lot, the overgrown flower beds seemed to emphasize the message, “We do the least we can.”

The new attender can’t help but wonder why the church leaders care so little about details. Maybe that’s the way they treat people as well?

It’s not really worth the effort to find out.

3. Church visitors don’t return because your church is full.

There may be room in the parking lot and the auditorium, but everything else is full.

Your small groups are closed, but you have new ones starting in the fall if the new attender wants to come back in a few weeks.

Your ministry teams are full unless the new attender wants to wipe babies’ butts, in that case there’s an opening today.

Your leader’s slate of relationships is full; they’ll meet with the new attender, but they reached their quota of friends a few months ago.

There’s a place to park and a place to sit, but there’s really no place to belong.

This is confusing and a little embarrassing for the new attender.

At least when hotels are full they put out a no vacancy sign; your church talks like they have plenty of room, even though every available slot, or at least desirable slot, is full. Maybe they’d be better off sticking with meetup.com to find new connections, there’s always room there.

Have you ever visited a church and then didn’t go back? What are the top two or three reasons you didn’t return? 

Read this next: Gift ideas for church visitors

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Geoff has served on the leadership teams at Seacoast Church and Saddleback Church, and as Managing Director of Exponential. He is the author of several books, including Together: A Guide for Couples in Ministry written with his wife Sherry. Along with writing, Geoff coaches churches and leaders around the U.S. and in Europe. Geoff lives in Denver, Colorado. Twitter: @geoffsurratt