As a follow up to my last post “Church Guest Blunders” Here are 5 good things I’ve done when it comes to guest.
1. Be Personal – Of all the gifts or gadgets we may try to do making people feel welcome, I have never found anything so positive as genuine personal contact. It may be as simple as asking for and remembering their name. I always write a handwritten (not typed) note on church letter head to every guest that leaves information. In today’s world people aren’t impressed with our ability to be professional (everyone has a computer and printer) as much as they are our willingness to be personal.
2. Be Intentional – Great intentions do not make for great guest treatment. We may genuinely be glad that people come but unless we have in place people and plans that are intentional we often fail our guest. From the parking lot to the following week we must know how we plan to handle guest.
3. Be a learner – We like to give our guest an opportunity to teach us how we are doing. We often send an survey to them with a self-addressed stamped envelope with which they can give us their opinion of the general atmosphere, the music, the preaching, the warmth of the people and the spiritual impact. We don’t let this drive our ministry but it is a helpful insight to blind-spots we may have in guest services.
4. Don’t Quit week 1 – In short we work harder on the 2nd and 3rd time guest than the first. We have a “newcomer’s dinner” every few weeks to invite those who have recently started coming. This allows us to introduce them to our staff and staff families. Our experience is that those who attend one of these dinners are far more likely to connect.
5. Build Connections – I offer to have coffee or tea with new people or connect them to someone in the church who will do the same. In these meetings we make personal connection with guest, learn about them, they us and we both get valued information about each other. In the end they have a personal connection to the church. I would say I have connected more people this way than any other.
I would love to hear what works for you.