Have you ever had a bad experience while visiting a church? Do you think people have had a bad experience while visiting First Free? It's one thing to get people in the door once, but to get them to come back or to call First Free their church home, that's much tougher.
The experts who study churches and ask people why they don't come back a second time have found some common denominators. Let me share ten of these and please take a moment to evaluate First Free in light of the list.
- Offer no easy way to plug into community - is it easy for people who visit to get involved in life groups?
- Doesn't feel welcoming in the parking lot - people make up their minds about the church before they enter through the doors. If you see someone you don't know in the parking lot, go out of your way to greet them.
- Don't acknowledge I'm in the service - visitors want us to know they are there.
- Acknowledge me too much - visitors want us to know they are there but don't want to stand, speak or raise hands.
- Don't give much thought or care to kid's ministry - safety is king today.
- Pass the offering bag twice.
- Don't share the Gospel or challenge me spiritually - people checking a church out want to be spiritually challenged.
- Asked to share their email address and then spammed with emails - they don't want to be bombarded with every bit of news from every ministry in the church.
- Visit me at home; random stop by's are a no-no to today's generation.
- Pastor disappears as soon as he finishes preaching.
If you want our guests to return, we all must be warm and inviting. We must challenge them to grow and offer various opportunities to plug in and serve. How are you doing?
P.S. Ever feel like the bad guys are winning? Ever think that you're not eloquent enough for God to use your story? Join me at 9:00 and 10:30 Sunday morning as we attempt to answer these questions!