Most churches believe they have open doors that just scream “welcome!” and may actually see some success in getting 1st time visitors.
But then, over time, not many people actually return for another visit. Where did they go?
Ministry leaders are often left wondering why people don’t come back to their worship services another time. Rationalization often leads to assumptions that since a church gets visitors, they must have succeeded in creating a friendly, inviting environment for new comers. And this sometimes leads to lack of ownership of this important detail of converting first time visitors into repeat visitors.
Of course, it is easy to think those first timers just got busy the next weekend. Or they assume most visitors aren’t serious about faith, so it’s understandable that they wouldn’t check out a church two weeks in a row. Or a host of other excuses ministries can come up with on behalf of the absent returnee.
Truth be told, 1st time visitors don’t come back for a real tangible reason — their decision is now based on the reality they just experienced in person.
The hard part isn’t getting someone to come your church when they don’t know much about it. It is only after they’ve experienced your church community in person — when all your ministry efforts are really felt — for them to consider retuning a second time.
Rick Ezell, pastor of a church in SC, believes there are actually 5 critical reasons why 2nd time visitors are a myth in many churches. He says:
- Visitors make up their minds regarding your church in the first 10 minutes.
- Most church members are not friendly.
- Church guests are highly consumer-oriented.
- The church is in the hospitality business but don’t realize it.
- You only have one chance to make a good first impression.
So then, what can churches do in order to get more 1st time visitors to turn into 2nd time visitors?
Here are 12 practical tips for getting the ball rolling with your ministry to start thinking about this in a serious way: Continue Reading…