Intentionally design ‘next steps’ for first time guests
Next steps are key in retaining first time visitors.
Though not a ‘next step’ in strict terms, an order of service is essential an order of service is essential in that it lets our guests know what happens next (an more importantly – are we near the end of the service yet?). Regular members know what will happen next but your guests don’t. Way too many churches neglect this simple courtesy to guests.Observations show that an order of service significantly reduces the level of uneasiness a first time guest experiences (and uneasy guests hardly return for more of the same)
Another ‘next step’ churches should consider would be to let guests know what happens after the service. A simple announcement from the pulpit will do. There’s nothing worse than a first time guest shifting uneasily after the service wondering whether to go for the door or wait to get to know the church better. The door option always wins out if a clear ‘next step’ hasn’t been communicated.
Finally it is important that those in charge of your ‘Guest Central’ suggest next steps to your guests e.g. signing up for a membership class, an invitation to join a home group, take part in the next men’s barbecue event etc. Whatever it may be its important to give your guests a few next steps they can go away with; usually a step that gives them the opportunity to get to meet other members of the church.