Posts Tagged church visitors

The Church Visitor Welcome Scale

By Rev. Rick Robinson

What happens to a church visitor (perhaps you call them guest or newcomers) when they attend your church for the first time? Most people don’t think about that question very often, they just assume a newcomer will feel like they fit in with the crowd.

I want to give you a church growth tool we use at Church Growth Associates to help bring a newcomer into the assimilation process of your church. When we do either an iConsultation or an onsite consultation, we use ratios and factors to diagnose your church and find out where your growth mix is. When it comes to church growth, Jesus made it clear that we are to be about the great commission. We cannot sit around and expect new people to show up in the volume it will take to achieve biblical growth.

Matthew 28:19-20
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It is impossible to grow a church without new people, making church visitors the lifeline for the future. Keep in mind this simple church growth principle; no visitors–no growth. Twenty five percent of first all time visitors should become active members of a church within a year, while seventy five percent of second time visitors should become members within a year. We must give honest evaluation as to how newcomers are treated when they attend.

Colossians 4:5
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

One of the tools you can use to help keep people coming back is the visitor welcome scale. There are six actions on this scale, each given a point value. The greater influence the action has on the church visitor, the higher the point value, with a total of 3320 possible points for completing all six actions. Below are the six actions with the point values listed.

1. A smile from someone. This has been assigned a 10-point value. This is so simple everyone should be doing it already.

2. A greeting from someone nearby. This also has a value of 10 points. Most of the churches in American would not score more than the first twenty points. If there were no official “greeting time” in the service, many would not even get this far.

3. Exchange of names. This carries a 100-point value. We start building more of an assimilation environment when we become more personal. Your guest must perceive this is the church where they can make friends and fit in. Remember that if a person does not make seven friends the first year, they probably won’t be there the second year.

4. An invitation to return. This is worth 200 points. You can also invite them to other church events and activities. Doing this at the end of the service will make the introduction time you spent with them more sincere, since you did not run away to talk with your friends when church was over. Instead, apply the next action.

5. Introduction to another member. This is a 1000 point action. The newcomer is going to begin seeing this church is a place they will fit in quickly and call their church home.

6. Introduction to the pastor. This is the highest point value on the scale at 2000 points. Some pastors stand at the exit of the church and greet people on the way out; you may have other ways to interact with people. At my home church, Idlewild Baptist Church, here in Tampa, Pastor Ken Whitten has a “Pastor on the veranda” time after each service on Sunday morning. This is a time where volunteer deacons and their wives meet and greet new visitors on the veranda, give them an informational DVD about the ministries of the church and introduce them to the pastor.

All of these actions combined will give you a total of 3320 points. Let me ask you how many points did you earn last Sunday? How many are you going to earn this Lord’s day? When you use this simple tool, you will set the newcomer on the assimilation path to a meaningful and productive church experience. To learn more about church growth ideas and strategies be sure to visit the iLibrary on our website at http://MyChurchGrowth.com/library and our PowerPoint central (members only area) for additional helpful church growth tools.

To see if Church Growth Associates can help your church, click here;  Can Church Growth Associates help my church? A consultant will contact you to hear your story.

Rev. Rick Robinson is a church growth consultant helping churches of all sizes with church growth and evangelism strategies.

http://MyChurchGrowth.com

 

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

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Hidden Signs

By Rev. Rick Robinson

Church Growth Associates, Inc.

Are you looking for simple church growth ideas that will be worth your time? Part of your church growth strategy should be an evaluation of hidden signs. What is a hidden sign? Most people would answer that perhaps by describing a sign that is hidden by the over growth of a bush. Yes, that is a hidden sign all right, but in church growth terms there are other types of hidden signs. A hidden sign is what we are communicating to others without trying or thinking about it. That is the problem with hidden signs, we don’t think about them.

A church I worked with a while back had one of those molded plastic lighted signs out front that someone had thrown a rock through. I asked, “What does the sign out front say?” Someone responded, “It says we are closed!” They got the point. The sign was in plain view, but yet it was a hidden sign. What does the sign say when a first time visitor arrives to worship only to find no designated parking for your guest? Designated guest parking area signs send the message, “You are welcome here, we were expecting you!” No designated parking communicates, “We found our parking, you find yours!” What does no handicap access to your church communicate to those with special needs? Is there an accessible ramp and reserved parking areas? Do you have signs placed around your church to show newcomers how to find the restrooms, pastors’ office and other important areas that may make them feel like a part of your church instead of an outsider? Is your facility clean and well kept? It doesn’t have to be modern or fancy, Just clean and organized.

Paul wrote about being wise when it comes to outsiders, and in his instructions to Timothy about selecting deacons, he gives a qualification that our church should uphold.

 

Colossians 4:5

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.


1 Timothy 3:7

He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

 

Are you making the most of every opportunity? Look around your church and see how many hidden signs you find.  Many of the hidden signs you will find can be taken care of for little or no cost. This church growth idea will be an investment in your ministry to newcomers and the attitude of your congregation that will be well worth the time, effort, and money.

We can help you with church growth no matter what size your church is now. Click here to have one of our church growth consultants call you to see if we can help your church grow.

Check out some of our other free resources in our library.

See how we can help you with an iConsultation or an Onsite Consultation.

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

http://MyChurchGrowth.com

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Loose Pews & Parked Cars

The pastors I talk with don’t often get a chance to experience what a worship service in another church is like. Sometimes they don’t even think about what the worship service in their own church is like. I am not talking about the content of the message, but what does a visitor experience? We want to inspire you with church growth ideas that will help you with your church growth strategies.

I want to share some of the “Candid Look” articles that have been published in our “Attitudes!” magazine from Church Growth Associates. These reports are all written by one of our associates that made the “Candid Look” visit to the church. The name of the church is never published, but they are all true stories. We have a simple visitor welcome scale we use to evaluate, with a possible total score of 3320 points. Most churches in the United States would score 20 points or less on our scale. Such is the case of the church in this story. Churches that use our iConsultation, or our Onsite Consultation service, benefit by learning to become a 3320 point visitor welcome church.

Rick Robinson
Church Growth Associates

A “Candid Look” at church 2363

What do visitors see when they attend your church? If you are anything like I used to be, that question never really enters your mind. I know I never really thought about what a visitor went through, at least not until I had the opportunity to work for Church Growth Associates. One of my responsibilities is to pose as a church visitor, as part of the consultation process. Let me tell you about my first assignment as a “visitor”. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

I left that Sunday morning in plenty of time to find the church I had never seen before. I knew the general location of the church and figured I could stop and ask directions when I got in the vicinity of it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The first place I stopped was a small gas station. There were two people working and neither one of them had a clue as to the location of my destination. My second stop was a food store and gas station combined. One of the ladies that worked there told me where she thought it was. I looked, it wasn’t there. I began to think I wouldn’t even find the church, at least in time to attend services that morning. As I was driving back to where I thought the church was I noticed a sign just off the side of the road and partially blocked by some trees. I could not read that side of the sign because it had a big hole in it. Once I got passed the sign I was able to look back and see that it was indeed the sign of my elusive church. By the way the two places that I stopped and asked directions; one of them was two blocks away and the other, one block away.

I drove up to the church and looked for a place to park. I didn’t see one at first. I did see other cars parked on the grass beside the church, but I couldn’t tell how they got there. I didn’t see a driveway. It ended up that I had to drive completely around the block and attempt my landing once more. This time I got lucky, I got behind someone that was going to the same place I was. I watched as my fellow church go-er drove onto the grass, around two trees, and parked beside and partially behind another car. “I can do that,” I said to myself, so I pulled my car onto the grass, around the trees, and to my amazement I was blocked. My fellow church go-er had not pulled up far enough. I guess he did that so he could be the first one out, because he made sure nobody else was going to come in that way.

Well believe it or not after my ordeal with finding a parking spot I still had enough time to freshen up before the service started. I began to look for a sign that would point me in the direction of a restroom but to no avail. I finally asked someone where it was and they pointed to a small black and white “Restroom” sign hanging from the roof of the walkway. Obviously a sign that only a church member would know was there. Anyway, I splashed water on my face and reached for a towel and, guess what? You guessed it, No towels! “You’ve got to be kidding,” I said to myself. I walked out shaking my hands trying to get them dry case I would have to shake someone’s hand.

I make it to the front doors of the church about 5 minutes before services started. I walked in and noticed about 8 men standing around talking. I was handed a bulletin and greeted with a simple “Good morning.” I sat down on the right side about 6 pews from the back. At that time there was no one sitting behind me and a lady and child sitting two pews in front of me. The service started on time, and for a while I was enjoying myself. Then came time to welcome the visitors. “Ok,” I thought to myself, “Lets see just how friendly these people are,” besides, that was one of the reasons I was there. Exactly 3 people greeted me. The lady that was sitting two pews in front of me leaned over and stuck out her hand. What was I to do? I leaned over my pew to take her hand, all the while holding on to my pew hoping not to fall. Little did I know my pew was not bolted to the floor. No, I didn’t fall but it was close. The other two people that shook my hand greeted me with a “Good morning” and that was it.

When the service ended I made it to my car with no “trouble”. What I mean is, no one stopped me to introduce himself or herself or invite me back. No one except the Pastor. You know how they all stand at the door after the service in order to see everyone on their way out. He was the only one to ask my name, give his name, and invite me back.

Now let me ask you again, What do visitors see when they visit your church? One of the purposes of this magazine is to help churches grow. I hope this true story has raised in you, some questions about what visitors go through when they visit your church. Maybe more important, what we as Pastors or lay people can do to make that visit a little more pleasant. Next time you encounter guests at your church remember – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

To see if Church Growth Associates can help your church, click here;  Can Church Growth Associates help my church? A consultant will contact you to hear your story.

Rev. Rick Robinson is a church growth consultant helping churches of all sizes with church growth and evangelism strategies.

http://MyChurchGrowth.com

 

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

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