It’s been said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. While that’s not always true, the first impression a newcomer has to your church is a vital, and sometimes fragile, experience. Step up your game by making a first impression that’s memorable and warm and one a visitor will want to experience again. Here are five ways for your church to make in impeccable first impression.
Make a Great First Impression by Being Welcoming
While it might seem that it should go without saying, the Golden Rule to treat others as you’d want to be treated should be at the forefront of your mind when welcoming newcomers into your church. As Jesus put it, “Whatever you wish that others would do for you, do also to them.” (Matthew 7:12, ESV).
Every greeter and usher should approach with a smile, offer help and suggestions, and turn the overwhelming experience of entering an unfamiliar place into an easy one. Simple friendliness goes a long way…and is rarer than you might imagine, even in churches.
Make a Great First Impression by Improving Parking
Welcoming first-time attendees starts in the parking lot. Churches with good visitor experiences often encourage visitors to park in designated spaces near the entrance of the church. This removes the barrier of newcomers not knowing where to go or what to do—and makes that first decision of where to park a simple one.
Make a Great First Impression by Providing Clear Signage
Though the parking lot needs clear signage, so does the inside of your church. Most churches today have main auditoriums with multiple doors, dozens of classrooms, several restrooms, and even coffee bars. Clear signage helps visitors not feel confused the moment they step into the building. If they have children, they’ll likely be searching for the proper sign-up area and classroom. Making this quick and easy for them will help them move into the service with a sense of peace.
Make a Great First Impression by Upgrading Children’s Ministry
Pew recently reported that the reason two-thirds of Americans go to church is for their kids. While sometimes children’s ministry can feel like a secondary ministry to what’s happening in the main auditorium, statistics prove otherwise.
Upgrade your kid’s church with the latest security measures, make sure it’s filled with welcoming volunteers, and ensure that the kids who attend love their time there. Not only will this minister greatly to the next generation, but it may be the single largest factor as to why a family will return. This includes reassuring newcomers that background checks have been conducted on children’s church volunteers as well as noting any necessary personal information, like dietary restrictions or special needs, on tags during children’s check-in.
FellowshipOne’s church management software is built with a ready-to-go check-in system that can make everything in your children’s church area flow smoothly. Contact us to see a free online demo.
Make a Great First Impression by Showcasing Diversity
Finally, make a great first impression by showcasing the diversity within your church. Newcomers want to see that a new church includes people similar to them. If possible, encourage a diversity of not only ages and races, but also having both men and women in positions of leadership and interaction. That kind of diversity is not only good for the health of your church, but also for providing a good picture of who you are to those who come to visit.
Of course, another strong way to make an impeccable first impression is by making sure you’ve prepared to capture visitors’ names and follow up accordingly, and a good church management software like FellowshipOne makes this possible. Contact us today to receive a free demo to see how we can help you make an impeccable first impression!