Archives For visitors

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…

If I walked into your church today, just how many people do you think would have said “Hello” to me?

Most churches think evangelism and visitor retention is a big deal. Churches create tactical plans, committees, strategy and more.

But the big secret is that it all starts with “Hello!” — Does EVERY PERSON in your church or ministry live this out?

One of my randomization rituals entails taking one day a month and committing to saying hello to EVERY PERSON that I cross paths with throughout the day. Sounds easy, sounds silly, but it is actually pretty hard to do! Our culture and society (especially in NYC!) has become a society of strangers existing together. Just get onto an elevator full of people and you’ll understand just how close we can be with others and still never bother to say a simple greeting.


If you are self-aware of this simple practice, you might be surprised at just how often you choose to look away, look at the floor, stay silent, or just simply walk right past people you do not know.

Remember that culture is formed top-down. So your behavior is critical in influencing how others in your spheres of influence actually act. What’s more is that I’m willing to bet that if everyone in your church has a mindset to simply say “Hello!” or “Good morning!” or “Good afternoon!” or “Hi there!” to every person they personally see coming into the building, you’re attendance will change within weeks. Seriously.

Do you yourself say “Hello!” to everyone you see at church? And what do you think about this one-word answer to visitor retention in your church? Please leave a comment below and share what you decide after reading this post.