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3 Ways To Get a Visitor To Return

Leadership / Leadership //

One of the areas I oversee in my role at Northbrook Church is our first time guest process.   We want to see as many guests as possible return to our church.  This is a lot harder than it looks!  You see, guests come to your church in all shapes and sizes.  They have different personalities, tastes, preferences, family makeup etc.  What might work for one might not work for another.  There are some constants though that I find will help you bring the most first time visitors back to your church as possible.  Check it out.

  1. Smiling Faces.  Lets face it, nothing says “we don’t like people” like a grumpy face.  Tell your ministry teams to SMILE!
  2. Clear Signage.  Where am I supposed to go?  How do I get there?  Many visitors don’t want to ask for help on their first visit.  Help them with offering clear directions.
  3. A Solid Children’s Ministry.  Nothing will cause a family to steer clear of your church like a kids ministry that doesn’t make them feel like their kids are safe and having a great time.
  4. Seats that aren’t in the front row.  If they come in late and the only seats left are in the front row that is extremely uncomfortable.
  5. A good website.  If a visitor can’t find good information on your website, they might not even come a FIRST TIME!
  6. Follow up…but not too much.  Find balance in the way you follow up with guests.  Don’t call them every day and send them 20 letters or emails.  Keep it simple.  People don’t want to feel like they are car shopping when they visit your church.

Any other thoughts?  Add them in the comments!

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About the Author

Joe McAlpine is the Pastor of Share at Northbrook Church. Northbrook is a growing church just outside of Milwaukee WI. He has been in ministry for over a decade, serving in staff leadership at churches ranging in attendance from 500 to 7,000. Prior to his current ministry, Joe had the privilege of leading the children’s ministry at Northview Church, the 5th fastest growing and 85th largest church in America in 2013. In 2009 he created www.joemcalpine.com, a website dedicated to helping leaders in next generation ministry grow spiritually, relationally and organizationally. Joe has a passion to help young leaders of next generation, family based ministries grow into seasoned ministry professionals oftomorrow. Joe lives out his passion for next generation leaders by tapping into his experience as a husband of one, father of four, pastor and life long lover of of learning. Joe has been happily married to his wife Christy for longer than he can remember and has four children, Elijah, Selah, David, and Elisabeth. The McAlpines are originally from the Chicago area. In his spare time you can find him hanging with the family and connecting with as many kidmin people as he can!