We’ve all heard the expression, “You have one chance to make a great first impression.” But what if I told you that your one shot, your one opportunity to make a great first impression with the first-time guests at your church, had an eternal impact?
The initial guest experience is one of the driving forces of a person deciding whether they will ever attend church again. And not just your church, any church.
Why? Because people have preconceived ideas of what church is. These preconceived ideas are based on Christians they know, their personal upbringing, and maybe even past experiences they have had with other churches.
It naturally generates stress, pressure, and discomfort; and all before they ever walk through the doors of your church!
Put yourself in the shoes of a first-time guest and quickly you’ll hear questions like, “What does this church believe; will I feel comfortable; will I be wearing the right clothes; will I know where to take my kids?”
Then combine those anxious questions with the reality of waking up, getting ready, getting there, getting lost, being on time, answering a myriad of questions from your kids in the backseat and all the other thoughts going through the mind of a first-time guest.
In short, your guests are likely going to be nervous when they come on your campus, and you’ve got one shot to make them feel welcomed.
Sure, it’s important to have a great parking team and friendly, welcoming greeters, but a great guest experience is so much bigger than that. Guests at your church will be checking you out long before they ever arrive at your doors. Your guest experience begins with your website and continues from the parking lot to the worship center, and all the areas in between.
Keep this in mind, your guest experience will be just that, an experience. As a church Leader, you have the power to influence what kind of experience it will be.
How does your church maximize the guest experience?