By Danny Franks
A key characteristic of any guest services team at your church must be the ability to spot a first-time guest. In a small church, this task may seem easy since everybody knows everybody, but in a big church, this task can be much more daunting. So how do you distinguish first-time guests from seasoned church-goers? Here are six tips that might help:
1. Watch for someone who is heading in the wrong direction.
Seasoned guests will know the general flow of things: where to park, where to walk, and when to get there. If you have an observant sidewalk team, you can help the newcomers avoid much discomfort by pointing them in the right direction.
2. Watch for people who slow down in front of your facility.
People who have been there before will confidently maneuver your front doors. Guest won’t always do that. If they’re slowing their pace, chances are they’re new.
3. Watch for people who are looking around.
Someone who is there for the first time will want to take it all in and will be looking for visual cues of your facility.
4. Watch for people that are over or underdressed.
Newcomers won’t know the style of your church and what is the norm.
5. Watch for people who are really late or really early.
Guests will typically research your service times and be sure to get there with time to spare. Your regulars are the ones who are more likely to get the service times wrong and show up right on time or slightly late.
6. Watch for people who are texting or on their phones a lot.
This could be the sign of a first-time guest who is trying to get in touch with a friend they are meeting there.
Spotting a first-time guest is the key to creating a guest-friendly culture. Put these six newcomer spotting tools in your toolbox and use them for the greater good of your church.
Adapted from Training Pathway: First-Time Guest Team on Ministry Grid. Get access to this video and 3,500 more for your entire church for $399/year through 8/31/19. Details here.