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First Contact

How do you connect first-time guests to the church body?

Erwin McManus
Los Angeles,

Plug Them in, Quick!

The number one indicator that a first-time guest will be here a year from now is if we get them serving somewhere, so first contact is critical.

A lot of times trying to assimilate guests is like fishing in the rapids—they're rushing in and out. We create shallower pools, places where people slow down so we can talk to them. We have art galleries, for example, where worship guests can stop and talk with the artist. Our members are trained to include first-timers and guests in their ministry.

We create service opportunities for people who aren't even seekers yet. Our next monthly "Quest Experience" includes a special musical piece where it's appropriate for an unbeliever to play with the band. And we welcome artists and designers who are friends of our regular attenders.

We include seekers as greeters in the coffee area or on the medical mission team to Mexico—any way we can get people involved.

We sometimes forget that people ...

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