Jump directly to the Content

Second Impressions

Are you following up with guests who come more than once?
Second Impressions

First impressions are important to first-time guests at your church, but the half-hour after service can determine whether they'll come back—and stay. Our research reveals three insights:

1. "Friendliness of the people" is the most important thing newcomers look for.

2. "Friendliness" is based on how many people talk to them.

3. The most important time for "friendly talk" is immediately following the service.

My family moved recently, and we have visited a number of churches. I've found some simple, but significant ways to increase repeat visits.

  • After-service hosts: A greeting time during the service is good if folks resume their conversation with the newcomer following the service. It's bad if they pretend nothing ever happened. If your people are not naturally congenial with newcomers, then appoint "hosts" for after the service. They are to make a beeline to newcomers, escort them to the coffee table, introduce them to others, and invite them back.
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Goodbye, Evangelicalism
Goodbye, Evangelicalism
Is the decline of religion in America a sign of the death of evangelicalism?
From the Magazine
God Wanted Me When the Foster-Care System Didn’t
God Wanted Me When the Foster-Care System Didn’t
I bounced from home to home before finding the Father my heart yearned for.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.