The experience guests encounter with your church should directly connect people to the purpose and future of your church. This is true … especially during the Christmas services. Guest experiences play a significant role in how people think about your church.
The good news is you can improve your guest experiences without spending a ton of money during Christmastime! You don’t have to have state of the art parking centers and interactive lobby displays to create a welcoming environment for your first time guests. Sure, guests are wowed by technology, but they are wooed by people.
Here are three easy steps you can take to be sure your guests feel right at home from the street to the seat:
1. Help Your Guests Before They Arrive
Use your website to provide easy-to-find information about what your guests can expect.
A First Time Guest targeted website landing page (i.e., www.yourchurchname.org/FirstTimeGuest) is the easiest way to help your guests find the information they are looking for.
In one simple click, guests should find:
- Worship Service Times
- Dress Attire
- Children and Youth Ministry Information
- Welcome Video From Pastor
- Links to Beliefs, Events and Other Opportunities
2. Make Parking a Memorable and Pleasant Experience
When it comes to parking your guests, think DisneyWorld, not the DMV.
- Signage is key. It should be clear and concise.
- Have a professional and friendly parking team.
- Genuinely welcome guests as they get out of their car and ask if they need any information.
3. Create Three Easy Steps to the Worship Center
Finding the balance between being welcoming and overbearing is key. Believe it or not, you can overgreet first time guests, which comes across as disingenuous. Use these three landmarks when thinking through a comfortable transition from street to their seat:
Front Door Greeters. Greeters should be looking out the front doors (not talking to each other) and should step toward the guest, make eye contact, shake hands and say “Good Morning.” This is not the time to pass out advertisements for upcoming events.
Welcome Center Greeters. Volunteers should personally walk the guests to where they need to go next, whether it’s the children’s area, student area or even the worship center. First time guests should never be pointed toward anywhere, but should have a personal escort combined with a friendly conversation.
Worship Stage Announcement. This is most likely your last chance to welcome your guests. Seize the moment to give them a genuine welcome and tell them what you want them to do next (i.e., fill out a guest card, download a mobile application, visit a welcome center, check out your website, etc.).