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10 Words of Advice From a First-Time Guest

sermon where a hearty amen doesn’t make sense!) I’ve heard church leaders close the service in prayer and go WAAAAAYYYYY long trying to impress the audience with their use of the old English language. Dost thou knowest what I meanest?

Beware of weird Christian things. I know we’re not of this earth, but we need to make sure that we’re not doing things in our services to perpetuate stereotypes that make Christians look needlessly kookie.

8. Give visitors a pass on the offering plate.

The last church we went to asked the visitors NOT to give anything in the offering plate except a completed information card (name, address, phone number, email, etc.). The pastor reassured the visitors that giving was for their regular attendees only. This gave us a pass when the offering went by. Another way some churches did this was by not passing the plate at all. Some had offering boxes at the exits that church members could put their gifts into on the way out of the service.

9. Don’t get too aggressive with the church follow-up emails.

OK, I know this can be a sensitive one because we definitely want to follow up with newcomers. But one church I visited literally was relentlessly sending me emails, almost daily! That’s way too much. Nobody wants spam from a church, either at their annual potluck or in their email box.

10. Call us after, ask about our experience at the church and invite us back.

Not one time in all my church visits was I ever called and invited back personally. That seems weird to me. In every church, we registered our kids and wrote down our names and phone numbers as first time visitors. But not one time were we called and followed up. A phone call is more personal than an email. A simple phone call would go a long way in making me think about coming back a second time.

Hopefully these 10 things will help you create a more welcoming church environment for first-time visitors.  

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Hi, I'm Greg Stier, CEO and Founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries. On this blog I share personal experiences about life, ministry, and how we are mobilizing teenagers across America to share their faith. I would love to connect with you. Follow me on TwitterFacebook or join a move of God at Dare 2 Share.