You only get one chance to give a first impression to fist-time guests who come through you church doors. They are subconsciously taking in everything from the appearance of your facility to their first interactions with the people in your church. The first step to controlling your first impressions is to pray for the guests who will be coming. Pray for the people you haven't met yet, but that God is working on to send them to your church. Pray for the people who you know have been invited to come. And pray for the people and ministries in your church that will have an immediate impact on them when they arrive.
According to the studies used in Kingdom's Visitor Retention Program, most guests decide if they are going to make a second visit within the first seven minutes of their arrival in your parking lot. There are at least seven ministries that have an impact on that decision. Each one must be highly developed to intentionally extend God's welcoming hand. Here are the seven ministries that you can pray about, then with God's help learn to control.
1. Church friendliness - that is the friendliness of the congregation toward guests
2. Parking lot attendants
5. Building and grounds - as seen through a visitor's eyes
6. Welcome table
Visitors are taking in everything they see and hear from each of the ministries listed above.
What have you done in your church to develop or "guesturize" each of these ministries? We would like to hear from you so that more churches can learn to control first impressions.