Saturday, August 18, 2012


Quite often marketing experts stress the first 7-10 minutes of a visitor's arrival as critical to their overall impression of a church.  Chris Walker, in a recent blog post, noted some important observations after the visitor has attended their first worship service and are still in the building. - Steve

My experiences making visits

 by Chris Walker evangelism coach

Marketing books on first impressions often stress the first 7 minutes of a visitor’s experience, but this surprise result indicates that the fellowship time afterwards is perhaps more important than even first impressions.

But when I reflect on my experiences as a first time church visitor, it makes perfect sense.
When I am a first time visitor I am focused on the mechanics of getting to the sanctuary, getting a seat, and getting oriented to my surroundings.  The services of greeters and location of signs are helpful in accomplishing that task.  A task oriented mentality narrows the focus to accomplishing the task, not to evaluating the friendliness of a congregation.  The more helpful the congregation is in getting that task done (greeters, ushers, signs) the easier I can get it checked off the list.

However, the 10 minutes after the service is where I am now relaxed, ready to engage people, having heard a message, prayed, sang some songs.  I grab a cup of coffee and am now ready to talk with people about what I just experienced.

This is where the level of friendliness comes to clear view:
Is any one approaching me as a the first time visitor?
Does any one want to talk with me?

Steps to improve your church hospitality after worship

In How to welcome Church Visitors, a whole chapter is devoted to these important ten minutes, including how to talk with visitors after the service.  It’s not the time to conduct church business with insiders.  It’s time to talk with visitors.
The research shows that those 10 minutes after the service are the perfect time to take initiative and talk with your guests.  You could:
  • Introduce yourself: “I’ve not met you yet, I’m Chris . . .  . “
  • Offer to pray with them right then if a need is shared.
  • Offer to answer questions they might have about their experience.
It’s about them — not about you or your church.  It’s not about the quality of your coffee or the freshness of the pastries (though that is important).  It’s about intentionally making connections after the service.

You can read more at the book How to welcome Church Visitors

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I want to introduce you today to a fresh new blog by Bill Shoemaker called THE HUB.  Bill is the Church Planting Director for the Great Lakes Regional Conference of the Churches of God, General Conference. His wit and insight are refreshing. - I encourage to visit his site. - STEVE

The Ouch Factor

10 Aug

Have you ever noticed how you can walk barefooted on pebbles intentionally and lower the ouch-factor to just the different sensations of pressure?  But if you are walking through grass barefooted and you step on a pebble, the ouch-factor takes over because it hurts like the dickens (whatever a dickens is -ha) and you hop around like a person on a pogo stick.  I read somewhere there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon.  It has to do with preparing the mind for what the body is about to encounter.  It prevents the mind from over-reacting to the stimulus.

Well I was reading through several blogs the other day, grazing along barefooted, enjoying the green grass as I read.  I picked up some tender morsels from several writers.  Then I skipped over to Seth Godin’s grassy blog to graze my way through his field.  Wow!  I was just walking through his musings when I encountered the “OUCH-FACTOR”.  It was buried just below the surface waiting for me to step on it in my bare-feet.  I should have known better.  Seth is known for well-placed pebbles (maybe land mines is a better description) in gassy areas.  Needless to say, I stepped squarely on a hard surface that had no ‘give’ in it.  Therefore the ‘give’ had to be on my part.  I will share a portion of what caused my ‘ouch factor’ below:

“Innovation is often the act of taking something that worked over there and using it over here.  Your problem, whatever it might be, probably has a solution somewhere in the world. And your organization is probably stuck because they don’t know what to do, and more important, don’t have the guts to do it…  If you’re waiting for a proven case study, directly on point, you’re going to wait too long.  The skill, it seems, is having the desire and the guts to seek out examples by analogy instead of insisting on being a follower of someone with guts.”

Seth is big on innovation with guts.  Going to conferences and taking notes from successful people and copying them is not what he recommends.  But learn courage from them that you can step out and accomplish the very things God has called you to do.  You certainly can learn different principles and new ways to look at both old and new problems to bring about different results from what you are presently reaping.  And you certainly don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

Where and what have been your Ouch Factors lately?  Find someone to discuss them and have the guts to do something about it.