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November 28, 2018

How to Welcome Guests Well

By New Churches Team

Make It Work

For the last 15 years, Danny Franks has been on staff at The Summit Church working in the area of guest services. The Summit Church, located in two long warehouse buildings, offers unique challenges for serving guests well. Their buildings have many doors, but few of them offer access. They have even gone to the extent of removing handles from doors as needed. Using personnel, flags, and signage, they point guests and members to two entry locations where greeting stations are located.

Using Incentives to Gather Information

Danny notes that it often takes guests several visits before they are willing to make known that they are a guest and give the church any information. The Summit Church tries to make it obvious that whenever the guest is ready, the church is also ready to meet them and help them take their next step. Once a guest reaches that point, they can visit one of the guest tents which are staffed with some of their best volunteers. There they will receive a gift as a small incentive to be given the opportunity to get to know them better and get a small amount of personal information. At The Summit, all they ask of a guest at this initial meeting is for the person to provide their name, date of birth, a phone number or email address, and their zip code.   

The Best Next Step

Once a guest chooses to connect with a church and give them basic information, the church must decide what they want to introduce as the next step for that guest. For many churches, this next step would be a newcomer’s event or pastor’s reception. This is typically a low pressure opportunity for guests to learn more about the church including how they can get involved in groups or serving when they are ready to do so. It’s important to remember that many first-time guests are most interested in learning if the church will take care of their family and familiarizing themselves with the church building.

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New Churches Team

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