As guests come into our church, we have a small amount of time to make our initial relational connection with them. According to a 2011 report, visitors make their decision about a new church in the first ten minutes of the visit. Therefore, our assimilation process ought to focus on making the first minutes on our property a friendly experience.
Our goal will be at least five relational points prior to the start of worship.
Our first point of contact is the parking lot. We need one or two people greeting and directing traffic in the parking lot. Additionally, we need reserved parking for guests and expectant mothers. To utilize these parking spaces, we need a sign that reads something like “guests or expectant mothers, please turn on flashing lights”.
Our second point of contact is the main entrance. We need two people to hold the doors open and greet each person as they enter.
Our third point of contact is the lobby. We need four people in the lobby to greet and help assist people with questions and directions. Additionally, our children’s ministry check-in area should be located close to the front entrance, for easy accessibility to parents.
Our fourth point of contact will be at the doors to the auditorium. Placement in this area gives one more relational contact in the first ten minutes.
Our fifth point of contact will be ushers in the auditorium. Our ushers will help people find a place to sit, while filling the middle and front before moving toward the back and sides. This practice will help us easily accommodate those who arrive after the worship service has begun.
Our follow-up with guests is equally as important as the relational points of contact on our property, which will be a three-step process.
The first step will be a guest services desk. This desk will be staffed by a pastor or elder have a free gift for our guests. We will answer any question they have and invite them to fill out a card with a name and one form of contact, either an email or a phone number.
The second step will be an email or phone call from a member of the 1st impressions team within the first 24 hours of their visit. This is an important follow-up step.
The third step will be an email or phone call from a pastor or elder after a second visit with two an invitation to attend the next “pizza with the pastor” lunch. During the lunch, we will give an invitation regarding next steps to further connect with our church.
The end goal is to connect individuals to a small group and then into serving the Lord in a ministry of our church.