Would you ever send a secret worshipper to your church service? What do you think they’d find?
We’re talking to Greg Atkinson who is a secret worshipper to large churches all around the U.S., and hear some of the things he’s seen and discovered that churches are doing great – and churches could do better.
Welcome to Episode 132 of the podcast.
Guest Links: Greg Atkinson
Greg on Twitter
Secrets of a Secret Shopper: Reaching and Keeping Church Guests by Greg Atkinson
Free Download: Greg’s Connection Card Template
The Canadian Church Leaders Conference Barrie, ON; June 8th – 10th
ReThink Leadership Atlanta, Georgia; April 26 – 28, 2017
3 Insights from This Episode
1. First impressions start with your website.
Just over ten years ago, first impressions started when people pulled into your church parking lot for the first time. Now, the first impression you make on new guests is through your website. Think about it, when was the last time you went somewhere completely new and you didn’t look it up online first?
Different website pages are important to different groups of people. Potential first-time visitors who are churched will probably look at your beliefs page and history page. First-time visitors who are unchurched will be looking for any information that can help put them at ease and let them know what to expect. This can include “new here” pages, about pages, staff bios (with photos) and vision.
If your website is welcoming and helps people feel like the know what to expect, they are exponentially more likely to turn into first-time visitors.
2. Always expect guests.
All people want to be served well and loved well when they go to church, and first-time visitors are no exception. Walking through the doors of a new church can be intimidating—ease their nerves by making it clear where first-time visitors can go to receive information or talk to a staff member. When giving information out to newcomers, remember that less is more. Give them enough information to answer their main questions, but don’t overwhelm them with information
Lastly, remind your staff that every Sunday is somebody’s first Sunday. Their first 10 minutes in your church is critical to let first-time visitors know that you care for them and that you prepared for them. If you’re not expecting guests, you’ll stop getting them
3. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect.
One of the most important things you can do is have first-time guests fill out some type of connection card. It’s critical to know who they are, how they found you and what they’re looking for. Taking the opportunity to learn more about them increases the odds of them becoming second-time guests.
Greg graciously provided a connection card template for podcast listeners. Click here to download.
Quotes from This Episode
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Next Episode: Todd Adkins
The vast majority of churches struggle to recruit and keep volunteers and even staff. As a result, they can’t grow or expand. Todd Adkins explains why most church leaders struggle to develop leaders and explains how to turn that around.
Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 133.