As we have traveled and experienced Sunday services in over 100 churches in the last 3 years we have noticed a gap in many guest service programs. They fail to simply invite first time guests to return for a second visit along with giving them a reason to return. How do you let your guests know you want them back? I believe you should leave no doubt in their minds that you want them back again and again…and why you want them to return.
You can communicate this message from your pulpit, welcome center, printed material, tv monitors and the individuals in your congregation. If you find that none of these are working then create another set of ways to communicate you want them back. I can assure you that a billboard, bulletin and power point screen announcement stating that you want them to return is not, by themselves, enough. Without a warm and caring interaction with your guest from your staff and everyone else in your congregation they will probably feel like you are not walking the talk and that you don’t mean what you say. Be sure to teach and train your people to greet and engage people with a warm smile, a genuine voice that shows interest in them, clear eye contact and perhaps a proper handshake. This will help reinforce your social media messages that you want them to return.
Of course, I believe that nothing can replace relationships in reaching and keeping people at your church. Equip and Encourage your congregation to individually reach out to their unchurched family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances to invite them to Christ and to attend a worship service or another event with them. The track record for this method of outreach seems to be much stronger than the others I have used in years past.
Please share with me how you invite people to return for a second and third visit.