One thing pastors love is church visitors.
Really, what we like even more is church visitors who become regular church attendees, but that process begins with visitors.
It’s always a mystery why some visit a church and never come back. Those reasons may be the subject of another post, but one thing I’ve learned, much of the chance for return depends on why the person chooses to visit in the first place.
I have discovered there are basically 5 types of visitors to a church:
These visitors are just looking around…perhaps for a new church…perhaps because they are dissatisfied where they currently attend church.
They may feel they are not growing at their current church, or they aren’t completely satisfied with the leadership, the programs, or the opportunities for service available. If testers find what they are looking for, they’ll be back, but most likely, there is a specific fit they are seeking.
I wouldn’t suggest altering things to keep them, but make sure their questions are answered.
These visitors are usually coming to appease someone who asked them.
They have less interest in attending church than they have in satisfying the request of a spouse or friend. This is not a bad way to get them at first, and I’m always happy to have them, but it is harder to get them to stick unless God moves in their hearts for attending church to become their personal desire.
For these visitors, the person inviting them is just as important as the visitor in keeping them, but help the pleaser feel welcome, don’t make them feel uncomfortable, and you’ve got a good chance of seeing them return.
These are people who know they are missing something in life but aren’t sure what it is.
Church may simply be another option, or it may be the only option, but these are the true unchurched. These visitors are a mission field.
If we introduce them to Christ, they become forever loyal to the church where they found Him.