Nowadays, we are all amazed if we get special treatment or receive real customer service. Is it because real customer service has become obsolete as business and society, as a whole, believe in quantity over quality? I challenge churches to give guests an unexpected, pleasant surprise on their visit. Let them know you care!
Train your Hospitality Team to do the OPPOSITE of what visitors are expecting:
The early-bird arrivers (Pastors, volunteers, choir) should park the furthest away, allowing visitors to be amazed that you saved the best up-close spots for them.
Special Needs Visitors will be thankful when you provide wheelchair access, closed captioning, sign language, devises for the hearing impaired or large screens for the visually impaired.
The sermon that purposely incorporates some of the “back story” will help those who are “unchurched” or “de-churched” to understand what is happening in the context of the
message. This excites the “newbie” as they can become fully engaged in the scripture and the sermon, and not feel uneducated or inadequate.
As part of the service, explain what they can expect to experience, using the correct terminology without cluttering it up with words that non-members might not understand, allowing the visitor to relax. (Example: “As it is the Season of Epiphany, all liturgists will meet in the narthex to assist in the preparation of the sacraments for Holy Communion, and we invite our guests to be the first to partake.)
The ENTIRE CONGREGATION knows and understands that it is their mission to welcome others. (Matthew 40:10).
The visitors are told, possibly for the first time, that all are welcome in God’s house, and that his WORD and his love & forgiveness are free to all.
Eliminate everything that will form a negative first impression, and create a positive atmosphere for your guest’s worship experience.
Provide pre-visit literature, signage, and an updated website to assist your guests so they know what to expect; before questions are needed.
Your competition is not another church, your competition is all the alternatives people have when not attending church. Help others find the right church for them, even if it’s not yours.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that the First Impressions about your church and the welcome (or lack of) that a visitor receives is not the basis for a return visit. WOW them with the kind of love and generosity we don’t experience any where else.
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Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church where she discovered her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone. She began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry, but as the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and her need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW, from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences! Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.