Ten Things to Do with First Time Guests

First time guests won’t become second time guests unless we make a good impression. Consider these suggestions working with your guests:

  1. Call them “guests” not “visitors.”  The term visitor denotes that they are just passing through and will probably not be back. Do you have a visitor’s bedroom or a guest bedroom? I rest my case!
  2. Respect their privacy. Don’t embarrass them by having them stand up and share their IQ, weight, political party, and bank account numbers.
  3. Explain things in worship so they are not confused. Don’t assume they know what is going on.
  4. Lovingly ask them to fill out an information card (also called connection or guest card). Most folks will not fill one out the first time they visit because they know you will do something with it.  The more people you have filling out such a card the more the possibility that guests will do so.  Let people update information and write prayer requests on these cards so it it not just a guest activity.
  5. Provide the best, spirit filled worship possible. We should always do our best for the glory of the Lord not only in worship preparation but everything we do. A dead worship will not bring guests back!
  6. Give them a gift before they leave. Some churches give away a book or CD or gift coupon to Dairy Queen, bass boat (just kidding) etc. Do what fits your area.
  7. Quick follow up touch within 24 hours. It is critical that they know you care. This can be as simple as a quick visit with an information packet about the church and inviting them to come back.
  8. Process their information to other leaders. If they have children pass that along to the proper Sunday School leaders, etc. In addition to this have someone praying for them.
  9. Follow up by e-mail or snail mail. Be sure to personalize any correspondence so it does not look mass produced.
  10. Pastors give them a telephone call on Friday or Saturday inviting them back to church and asking if they have any needs, questions, or prayer requests. When I did this as a pastor folks were always surprised that the senior pastor would take time to give them a call.

Gather a team to evaluate your first impression efforts. Choose a place to begin. Connect. Make disciples.

Keep the Son in Your Eyes,

Mike James

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