CNLP 185: Greg Atkinson on How First Time Guests Get Alienated by Your Church Services

Greg Atkinson returns to the podcast after a very popular first interview about how most churches lose guests within the first ten minutes of a visit. In case you missed it, check out Episode 132 and this blog post outlining how to lose a first time guest in 10 minutes or less

In today’s conversation, Greg walks leaders through every element of a typical weekend service and helps them see what connects with guests and what makes them walk away, never to come back.

Welcome to Episode 185 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Greg on Facebook | InstagramTwitter |


First Impressions Conference – May 1-3, 2018 Sign up for this 3-Day, online event today!

Always Point People to the Website

CNLP 132: Greg Atkinson On The Secrets Of A Secret Church Shopper: What People Are Looking For When They Come To Your Church

Links Mentioned

TrainedUp Use coupon code CAREY and receive 10% off for life!

Rethink Leadership in Atlanta Georgia – April 25-27th, 2018

The Canadian Church Leaders Conference in Barrie Ontario – June 14-16th, 2018

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Intentional service planning is worth the effort

Often people pushback on the intentions behind why churches spend so many resources on service planning, but there is a simple explanation for investing time and money to host an excellent weekend experience.

When you invite guests into your home, you prepare for those guests so that when they arrive they feel welcomed and expected and loved. The same standards are even more important in our churches and businesses.

From the parking lot, the opening of auditorium doors, the follow up after a service, and everything in between – each detail offers an opportunity to show someone they are welcomed and invited to know Jesus and experience Him in all things.

2. Unprepared musicians create obstacles during worship

Regardless of style, whether your worship set is contemporary, traditional or a capella,  there’s no excuse for the music not to be well thought out and ready for Sundays.  Musicians should be fully prepared for the run-through and not scrambling to learn songs moments before doors open. Memorized lyrics and planned out transitions are a must, because fumbling on words or awkward pauses in between songs are huge distractions. Being unprepared creates obstacles for people as they are being led in worship. 

The more prepared everyone on stage is to lead, the more they’ll be able to actively engage in worship themselves – offering an authentic and contagious worship experience for everyone in the room that is engaging, participatory and spirit-filled. 

3. Mention one announcement and put the rest online

Don’t overwhelm the congregation (and guests) with a list of announcements. While many may be important, it’s best to mention one thing that applies to everyone in the room. Briefly say that everything else is available on your website. Greg wrote a great article on this topic and you can find it here.

Quotes from This Episode

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Next Episode: Daniel Im 

Something’s wrong with discipleship in most churches, but many leaders have no idea what’s broken, despite their best efforts to diagnose and fix it. Daniel Im gives a helpful diagnosis and a very practical set of tips on how to move your church closer to Christ. Plus, he shares some bonus tips for bi-vocational pastors—a much requested conversation.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 186.

CNLP 185: Greg Atkinson on How First Time Guests Get Alienated by Your Church Services

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