I was in a local store (Christmas shopping) and I asked a worker where I could find something I was looking for. I think this was my first time in the store for about a year; and everything seemed new and different. I walked in and knew I was in the right place to find what I was looking for. I just had no idea where to find it.
The worker seemed to be wandering when I approached him. He didn’t engage with me (and seemed to be concentrating on something else). I asked my question and he pointed to the other end of the store and said it was on the “office equipment” aisle. I thanked him and started towards the direction he indicated.
I realized along the way I had no idea where I was going, wished I had asked more questions, and got frustrated.
My positive experience went downhill fast.
This Christmas; you’ll have lots of visitors. Some who have never been in your church. Nor a church in your denomination. Or maybe never in any church before.
They’ve come for a reason. A purpose (a higher purpose!). They’re there to find something — and they may not even know what.
Your staff, volunteers, congregation have to be aware of several things:
- It’s always better to assume the person has no clue about anything in your church.
- Introduce yourself with your full name and genuinely be friendly. Don’t talk in “churchese”.
- Ask key questions: Is this your first time here? How did you hear about us?
- Always offer to “take” someone somewhere; not just give directions or point.
You want their visit to end as good as it started. And your congregation has to realize the importance of slowing down and taking the time for visitors. It could be the difference between the decision to come back; or go someone else that doesn’t have the best solution.