Church Guests Have Questions

It’s important to encourage attenders to join our church — because they’ll NEVER grow spiritually without a commitment to live out what the Bible teaches while in a relationship with others.

As we encourage church membership, it’s important to keep in mind these five unspoken needs that prospective members are looking for our church to meet.

  • Will I be accepted at this church? – We meet this need best by establishing affinity groups within our church so that people with similar ages, interests, problems, or backgrounds can find and relate to each other. Everyone needs a niche, and small groups play a crucial role in meeting this need. We must show people that we have a place for them. Our Sunday and Wednesday opportunities are great because they can get involved, and if they have children, there is a quality and comprehensive process for discipling kids.
  • Will I find friends at this church? – People are looking for opportunities to develop relationships within our congregation. People aren’t looking for a friendly church as much as they’re looking for friends. The most common feedback we get off the Connection Cards and e-mail surveys is that we are a friendly and welcoming church. Let’s NOT just be polite but bring people in to our circles of commitment.
  • How will I make a difference at this church? – People want to make contribution with their lives. They want their lives to count. They want to feel that they matter. When we can show people that they can make a difference with their gifts and talents by joining our church, they will want to get involved. What can we dream up to get people involved, that will need all sorts of talents and abilities — not just singers, ushers and small group leaders. Take a look here on ways to get involved.
  • How will I benefit from joining this church? – We must be able to clearly and concisely explain the reasons and benefits of membership. Explain the biblical, practical, and personal reasons for membership. We have put together a simple brochure on what membership is so important.
  • What will be expected of me at this church? We must be able to explain the responsibilities of membership as clearly as we state the benefits of it. People have a right to know what is expected of them before they join. The Connections Class is a great way to get to know people who are on a similar life journey and to understand what King’s Grant membership is all about.

[print_link] [email_link] [ Adapted From Rick Warren ]

Why Guests Don’t Return

I recently read about ten ways to ensure guest DON’T return to our church, (written in the first person):

  1. Offer no easy way to plug in to community: Don’t tell me about small groups. Make me wait forever to plug in, or make me do extensive work to even figure out what kind of groups you offer.
  2. Don’t welcome me in the parking lot: Just do your job, don’t speak to me as I walk in, and offer a bit of an “it-is-early-on-a-Sunday-morning” scowl.
  3. Don’t acknowledge I’m in the service: Give no head nod to “first timers,” “guests,” or “folks just checking us out.” In fact, just speak to the inner core, the “members.”
  4. Acknowledge me too much: Call me out and have me stand up. Ask me to publicly share my name and darkest secrets.
  5. Don’t give much thought or care to your kids’ ministry: People don’t care if their children are safe, watched after, and learn the Bible. Nope. Let them run amuck.
  6. Pass the offering plate twice: Or three times, and shame me into giving you money.
  7. Don’t share the gospel or challenge me spiritually: Because that’s not why people come to church, is it to be stretched to grow spiritually, is it? Oh, wait, maybe that’s one of the main reasons they show up.
  8. Ask me to give my e-mail address, then spam me: Overwhelm me, starting on Monday morning, with news from every single ministry your church has ever offered.
  9. Visit me at home: Show up during dinner time, if you can, or while I’m trying to put my son to bed. That would be ideal, please. Our generation loves the random church-member pop-in when we aren’t even sure we like your church.
  10. Pastor, disappear as soon as you finish preaching: Go back to the greenroom, or Starbucks. But don’t position yourself in the hallway. You are a diva, after all.

If you want visitors to return, be warm and inviting. Challenge people to grow. Offer various opportunities to plug in and serve. Then get out of the way and give people the chance to explore.

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