The strength of our Book Reviews collection lies in the categorical breakdown that we have created for you below. We have divided the most common ministry design issues into categories so that you can more easily find the solution that you are looking for. Our eventual goal is to have an in-depth review for every book that will give you further assistance in discovering the reading pathway that can lead you to the solutions to the ministry issues you may be facing.



  • Beyond the First Visit: The Complete Guide to Connecting Guests to Your Church

    by Gary L. McIntosh. Publisher: Baker Books.

    Focuses on how to keep first-time visitors.

  • Carving the Table

    By Greg Blake

    The memoirs of the Chief Encouragement Officer Greg Blake. Perhaps you have seen him in action, now read whats behind the CEO of Pepworks International.

    When we first got married  my parents bought us a old dining table that had come out of a bakery in NY. We bought an old fashioned icepick and thought it would be a great practice to have people carve their name in our table when they came for a visit….well 41 years later we are still continuing the tradition. We have hundreds of signatures. My 4 kids have bought an old table and are continuing the practice with their families. We even have sanded out the names of old boyfriends who didn’t make the cut!
    (I just finished my memoirs called Carving the Table (available in ebook format on Amazon) Click Here to get a copy!
    When folks visit our church for the first time, Debbie and I invite them over to our home on a Friday evening (Family Night) to get to know them better. Very non-threatening. We will also find out their occupation and will do our best to match them with another couple with the same occupation so there is an immediate connection.
    Have had numerous couples join because of the personal interest in their lives. I tell people that you can’t get to know people in the foyer of a church Sunday morning doing small talk.
    Unfortunately today we have become too busy to invest our lives in others and ultimately eternity.
  • Christian Hospitality

    By Josh Hunt

    “Note: formerly published under the title Give Friday Nights to Jesus.

    I have consistently seen 90% of visitors join when we “Give Friday Nights to Jesus.”

    Hospitality is and ancient practice that can refresh your life, revitalize your church and reach your world.

    Giving Friday nights to Jesus is a metaphor for hospitality. It doesn’t have to be Friday Nights. It can be any informal time where we visit with friends and not-yet friends. The Bible says to do this: “Offer hospitality without grumbling” and, “Get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner.”

    This book offers inspiration and step by step instructions on how to make hospitality a vital part of your life and effective part of your ministry.”

  • Church Connection Cards: Essential Church Communications to Connect with Visitors, Grow Your Church, Pastor Your People

    By Yvon Prehn

    A guide and tool to aid your guest services efforts. The book gives detailed instructions on how to make sure you get the largest number of people to fill out the cards, specific ways to manage your follow-up to most effectively serve the people who filled them out, lists of what you need to have in place for follow up, and how to triage (divide into levels of ministry need) the cards so you can respond to people in a timely manner.

  • Church Greeters 101

    By Chris Walker

    “Church greeter ministry is a vital part of welcoming visitors to your church. They help shape that first impression which in turn, may very well shape a visitor’s journey to Christ.

    Sadly, greeting ministry gets neglected, overlooked, or relegated to auto-pilot. Church leaders end up begging for unmotivated volunteers who fill a space.

    Church Greeters 101 leads you forward in starting or relaunching the greeter ministry of your church, covering such topics as:

    how to recruit church greeters,
    ideas to train church greeters, and
    ways to cast the vision for ongoing hospitality ministry.”

  • Clip In: Risking Hospitality in Your Church

    By Jim Ozier and Fiona Haworth

    When a cyclist clips into the pedals, a huge risk is involved because he or she must learn a new way to achieve balance and momentum. Creating a culture of hospitality within your church involves the same intricate process. Not only do balance and momentum go hand-in-hand, one can’t exist without the other. Growing a church requires the same kind of delicate interplay: balancing attention toward existing members and generating momentum through reaching new people. Without both, the church won’t grow. Creating a culture of hospitality involves risk and relearning old habits, but facilitating both will yield fruitful results.

  • Connect: How to Double Your Number of Volunteers

    by Nelson Searcy. Publisher: Baker Books.
  • First Impressions Team: Serving our Guest and Friends

    By Judah Church

    How Judah Church Serves their Guest and Friends.

  • First Impressions: Creating Wow Experiences In Your Church

    by Mark L. Waltz. Publisher: Group Publishing(CO).

    Tips for improving your worship environment

    Click to see full review


    The author discusses the philosophy, biblical basis and practices for establishing a ministry of guest services in your church.


    The book is designed to “help you apply principles and concepts to help you shape a unique ministry that brings guests back to your church. It will help you:

    •    Understand your guests as real people with real needs

    •    Develop a ministry to your guests that communicates acceptance, respect, and value

    •    Build teams who believe that people matter to God

    •    Honor God as you offer your best to your people and community.”


    This is needed.  It is challenging, thought provoking, and instructive.


    Who will benefit from this book?

    Hopefully your guests will benefit if you apply the principles and concepts in this book.

    How will this book benefit?

    The principles and concepts taught in this book can transform your guest services in your church.

    Where does it fit in the ministry design process?

    It should be a part of your strategic plan.

    Aha Thought:


    “Our assignment is to make sure people can see Jesus clearly.  This is the very reason we must meet them where they are – consumer mentality and all.  We must greet them with unconditional acceptance and respect.  This is how people will begin to see Jesus clearly.  Our goal should be to do anything and everything that help

  • First Impressions: Creating Wow Experiences in Your Church (Updated 2013)

    By Mark Waltz

    “Guests in church often decide whether to return or not before service even starts. It’s crucial to create a welcoming environment for guests of your church–to ensure that their first impression is the best impression. Author Mark Waltz gives you practical strategies that have worked in his own church–that you can easily implement in yours. Learn how to make guests feel welcome the moment they pull in to your parking lot. Gain an understanding of the philosophy, strategy, and implementation of a ministry that focuses on welcoming guests. Get practical ideas that take your church “greeting” to a whole new level.”

  • Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church

    by Nelson Searcy. Publisher: Regal.
  • Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church

    by Nelson Searcy. Publisher: Regal.
  • God’s Guests: Hospitality Within the Church

    By Heidi Fleming

    “Heidi Fleming’s career has spanned many professions related to health and healthcare. She has been involved with church hospitality within the local church as well as on the regional level. She loves Jesus and loves people. Her top three Spiritual Gifts are Faith, Service & Helps. When all is said and done she wants to do enough and say enough to make the world a little better than when she arrived. Why did you write this book? Because I started talking with people away from the church and noticed a common thread. There were things about the church that was turning people away. I knew in my heart I wanted to do something to make a difference. Who are you? Someone who loves Jesus and wants to help His church. Why do you think you have the credentials to write this book? I don’t. I know I have the passion and desire to help people and help the church. I know I love Jesus. I know there are many people being hurt and not welcomed by the very place they
    should be helped. If the thoughts within these pages can help us stop hurting the hurting – I have accomplished my mission.”

  • Greeter Handbook 101

    by Douglas Crumbly

    “This is your manual to starting, maintaining, and having the greeters that will help your church represent Heaven to your guests.”

  • Hospitality Commands

    By Alexander Strauch

    “Christian hospitality is a very effective means of evangelism and of building a loving Christian community. It can help your church grow and to become a friendlier, more loving church. You will definitely want every member of your congregation to read this book. Unlike other books on hospitality, this book expounds every Scripture on hospitality, explores all the Biblical examples, and then lists the biblical fruits of Christian hospitality. The book also contains study questions and assignments for group study.”

  • How to Wow Your Church Guests

    By Mark L. Warltz

    “Have you ever asked the question, “Why aren’t visitors coming back to our church?” The truth is: as much as we want new people to visit and stay at our church, we don’t always show it. Traditions and routines can get in the way of reaching new people who come through your doors. People who don’t yet know they matter to God. People who may be the most important people in the building on any given Sunday.

    Inside the pages of How to Wow Your Church Guests, you’ll discover 101 simple things that send big messages to your guests. Each one will help you consider your church’s welcome quotient. Written in a practical, actionable style, even if you only embrace a few of these ideas you’ll immediately improve the quality of guest services in your organization.

    Order one for each leader and influencer in your church. By working together, you can put your best foot forward. Who knows…you might even convince Mr. and Mrs. Jones to give up their coveted parking spot under that shady oak tree!”

  • Lasting Impressions: From Visiting To Belonging

    by Mark Waltz. Publisher: Group.

    Excellent observations and suggestions for keeping those who visit your ministry.

  • Lasting Impressions: From Visiting to Belonging (Revised 2013)

    By Mark Waltz

    “Discover how to create a church culture that encourages connections–and draws people deeper into the life at your church and deeper into a relationship with Jesus. Author Mark Waltz provides proven steps for turning church guests into believers, and believers into committed Christ-followers. Identify ways to help people grow. Develop experiences that help people belong, not just attend. Take a step deeper into the ministry and mission of your church. This book provides strategies that are flexible and adaptable for any church.”

  • Marketing for Church: Understanding the Basics

    by Dean Seddon

    This short book explains the basics of Marketing in a Christian context. This book explains the basics of marketing for use within churches and christian charities as well as give you some understanding regarding the principles of marketing succesfully.

    This mini book covers the two main concepts of marketing…

    The Four P’s – Product, Place, Price, Promotion
    The Four C’s – Consumer, Cost, Convenience, Communication

  • Sticky Church

    by Larry Osborne, Zondervan

    Focuses on methodology for attracting and keeping people in church

  • Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership

    By Ryan T. Hartwig & Warren Bird

    “It’s increasingly clear that leadership should be shared—for the good of any organization and for the good of the leader. Many churches have begun to share key leadership duties, but don’t know how to take their leadership team to the point where it thrives. Others seriously need a new approach to leadership: pastors are tired, congregations are stuck, and meanwhile the work never lets up.
    But what does it actually mean to do leadership well as a team? How can it be done in a way that avoids frustration and burnout? How does team leadership best equip the staff and bless a congregation? What do the top church teams do to actually thrive together?
    Researchers and practitioners Ryan Hartwig and Warren Bird have discovered churches of various sizes and traditions throughout the United States who have learned to thrive under healthy team leadership. Using actual church examples, they present their discoveries here, culminating in five disciplines that, if implemented, can enable your team to thrive. The result? A coaching tool for senior leadership teams that enables struggling teams to thrive, and resources teams doing well to do their work even better.”

  • The Guest Friendly Nursery

    By Bill Easum and Bill Tenny-Brittian

    “Suffering from the “Empty Nursery” syndrome? Having difficulty getting young families to return a second time? Do your young adults bring their toddlers to worship, even though you have a “perfectly good” nursery? Does your nursery look like it did back in 1965, only older? Then your church needs The Guest Friendly Nursery. Written by church consultants who have helped churches across the nation go from kid-less to kid-full, The Guest Friendly Nursery has been developed from over two decades of experience.”

  • The Ministry of Greeters and Ushers

    By Anthony Fouts Fout

    “The power of love in action! This is a book with creative ideas that not only teaches greeters how to offer a warm welcome to guest but teaches follow-through for true relationship building.”

  • The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality

    By Henry G. Brinton

    “This practical book by pastor and writer Henry G. Brinton studies the biblical basis for Christian hospitality and how it is practiced in congregations today. While recognizing the challenges for embracing all people in the life of the church, Brinton offers a helpful guide for creating a hospitable congregation and welcoming others through spiritual formation, reconciliation, and outreach. He includes discussion questions and an action plan in each chapter.”

    “Because church members often have the aspiration to receive strangers but not the skills or techniques, I offer this book as a user-friendly and useful guide to Christian hospitality. It tells stories of inclusion, contains examples of the best practices of truly welcoming congregations from across the country and overseas, and offers suggestions about hospitable practices that can be used by churches across the social and theological spectrum. I offer this guide to laypersons, clergy, and other religious professionals because I am a parish pastor who believes that hospitality is the key to becoming an uncommon Christian community-one that embraces all people with God’s love and grace.”

  • Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Visitors

    By Jonathan Malm

    “Walking into a church for the first time can be scary. Are you making your first-time guests feel welcome? Or are you driving them away—unintentionally—with bad signage, reserved seating, clunky communication and more?

    In this practical book, Jonathan Malm examines 50 ways churches make first-time visitors feel unwelcome. The transgressions range from insider lingo to awkward transitions, a cold congregation to the over-eager greeter.

    With all 50 church faux pas, Jonathan suggests ways to not only fix the problem, but also infuse excellence into the situation so churches can put their best foot forward with first-time guests. A few simple changes can help your church roll out the welcome mat for your guests.”

  • WELCOME TO FATHER’S HOUSE: Leading the First Time Guest from the Door to the Core

    By Arlene Patterson

    “This book introduces you to the ministry of “Christian Hospitality”. It provides practical and positive suggestions that have been tested, tried, and proven to have great impact upon growing a church when implemented with the proper training and motivation. It is a great first step to bring your first time guest into the ‘core’ of the church.”

  • Work of the Greeter

    by Paige Lanier Charqois

    “The latest volume in Judson Press’s classic “Work of the Church” series, this book offers practical information for development and implementation of a more structured hospitality ministry of greeters. Beginning with the biblical precedent for such a ministry in the gate-keepers of the Jerusalem temple, the author goes on to provide detailed suggestions for the recruitment, organization, and function of greeters in the life of the church.”