My friend Greg Atkinson recently wrote an article highlighting 8 reasons people aren’t coming back to your church. Â Here are the reasons. Â Go read his thoughts, then come back and let’s discuss…
The Front Door
Before a guest ever steps foot on your churchâ€™s physical campus, he or she has probably already checked out your church website. What every church should have clearly visible on their homepage is a section or button for first-time guests.
Itâ€™s important that no church ever underestimates the sense of smell. While sight is the strongest sense for short term memory, the sense of smell is the strongest and most vivid for long-term memories. I
One of Tim Stevensâ€™ three â€œgrowth lidsâ€ that he thinks every growing church should have someone who is constantly watching is parking. Tim says, â€œThis is why Visitor Parking is so crucial. If itâ€™s difficult for newcomers to go to your church, they wonâ€™t go.â€
This Way Parents
One way to assure guests will not return is to have a confusing, long or hard to find process for getting their kids registered and in the right classroom. Wise churches have signs for first-time guest kidsâ€™ check-in and make the process quick and painless.
Give It Away
Something subtle, but powerful is a church that has a generous spirit. Chris Hodges at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL is big on this. They have a coffee shop, but they also have a designated area where people can get free coffee and not pay anything.
One issue that is huge to a secret shopper and visiting families is security. If a parent is worried about their childâ€™s safety, they will not enjoy the service and will likely not return. A childrenâ€™s classroom must be clean, safe and secure. Security also includes the check-out process. If anyone can walk into a classroom and pick up a kid, youâ€™re asking for trouble and will turn off potential newcomers.
The Visible Pastor
Accessibility of the senior pastor is another subtle and powerful statement of a church. Even pastors of the largest churches in America make an intentional and strategic effort to be seen, greeted and hugged after a service. They may have a body guard present for security reasons, but they are available and willing to pray with people that need to speak to their pastor.
Itâ€™s simply not enough for greeters and parking lot attendants to say â€œHelloâ€ or â€œWelcomeâ€ when one walks into their church. To go to another level, have your first impressions team stationed at their posts when the service ends to say â€œGoodbyeâ€ or â€œHave a nice weekâ€.
Read more of Greg’s thoughts here… Â Itâ€™s In the Details: 8 Surprising Reasons Why People Arenâ€™t Coming Back | Greg Atkinson
What do YOU think? Â How are you doing on these 8 things? Â And in YOUR experience, what has kept people from coming back to YOUR church?