Can megachurches be church visitor friendly? — Transition Ministries Group
What do YOU think? Do you think it’s easier or harder for a larger church to be visitor friendly?
Bud Brown shares some metrics that he thinks would make megachurches much more visitor friendly. See if you agree. He writes:
Mega-church staff and pastors are trapped in a dilemma created by the Church Growth movement – the assumption that bigger is better and that attendance inevitably produces spiritual maturity. This perspective on the disciple making process inevitably leads to metrics like attendance, income, visitor returns and so forth. In time the relentless demands of schedules, logistics, and buildings become the vision; keeping the machine running smoothly becomes the mission, and it happens with no one noticing. Inevitably, attending a mega-church is like going to Walmart the day after Thanksgiving – it is a madhouse!
I’ve seen this from the inside so I have an idea of more appropriate metrics that will move a mega-church in the direction of becoming genuinely engaging, warm and welcoming:
How many first time visitors did the greeters meet at the door to the auditorium?
To how many regular attendees did the official greeter introduce the new guests?
How many first time visitors were greeted by a staff member (Other than children’s and youth pastors all of them should circulate in the auditorium before and after services)
How many prayer requests did staff collect from visitors?
What is the lag time between a first visit and contact by a non-paid member of the church? (forget the pastor’s welcome letter; it’s nothing more than useless chatter these days)
Is a pastor or high ranking staff member actually available meet guests after every service?
How often is the hospitality team coached on technique and process?
How often does the church employ a “secret shopper” guest to give impartial evaluation of the hospitality?
Does the church have a welcoming team at every entrance?
How many times did a welcome team members escort a new guest from the entrance to the main welcome center?
Is the congregation regularly instructed that members waiting for the service to begin should greet one a number of people and not chat with one person at length?
How effective is the enfolding process in moving first time guests into regular fellowship in small groups, connecting them with staff members and insuring that their spiritual needs are met or at least prayed for? What is the percentage rate?
Finally, what percentage of first-time guests eventually become regular attenders who are engaged in service through the church?