Churches love visitors and guests…usually. Leaders salivate when new bodies sit in the worship center. But do your visitors love your church? Do you know what these guests are thinking when they step on your church? Here are four common thoughts that every your visitors is thinking. It’s important for you to be aware of this so that you can create a great experience for every visitor.
1) How’s the parking?
The church starts in the parking lot not the worship center. Parking is probably the single biggest place that churches neglect. People want to know if there is enough parking and if it’s easily accessible. Can your first time guests find the parking lot easily? Would they be able to know where to go after that? It’s important to have a traffic team to help create a great parking experience. One way is to create signs for guests. Another way is to designate parking spots for visitors, families with young children and people with special needs. This makes first time guests feel really cared for.
2) Are there people like me?
Visitors are thinking if the church reflects the community. First time guests feel connected to churches when they see someone on stage that looks like them. Does your stage presence reflect the target demographic in your community? It’s important to show case your diversity on the stage as well as those who are serving. If your church does not have that diversity then it’s vital to note how a guest may feel about that.
3) Can I find authentic community?
First time guests not want to know if people look like them but also if they can be friends with them. They are hungry for community and a place to belong. They want to know what are the opportunities and steps to get plugged in. Does your church have a small group table? Does your church provide information on ways to get plugged into the different ministries?
4) Will they really care about me?
This is the single most important question that the first time guest is asking. Many people have this stereotype and fear that the church will judge them or criticize them for their lifestyle or what they did last night. They want to know if the leaders, volunteers and members will love them, accept them and care for them. Is your church friendly and welcoming to all different types of people? Does your church really care and want to be fully present and intentionally care for all people?