5 Incorrect Assumptions About First-time Guests

Last month I entered one of our local high schools for the first time. Frankly, I was intimidated. Now, I am a grown adult with a wife, family, a master's degree and a full time ministry job. It is crazy to me how my mind cycled through the potential scenarios of discomfort that might come upon me by entering that front door. Interestingly enough, when I returned the following week many of the butterflies had subsided because I now knew for the most part what to expect.

We know it can be a little awkward and even scary to go to church for the first time. However, because we have grown comfortable with our surroundings, most regular attendees have forgotten that first-time feeling. I read a great article this week by Tony Morgan that points out 5 Incorrect Assumptions About First-time Guests that we all need to consider.

1. First-time guests don't care about parking as long as the worship, message and other service elements are excellent. 
2. First-time guests can easily figure out where to go. 
3. First-time guests are not concerned with the building's appearance. 
4. First-time guests understand what you are talking about. 
5. First-time guests think that nurseries and children's ministries are nice additions to the main worship experience. 

Yes, that's right. The above list is a scroll of incorrect assumptions. How many are you guilty of? 

When I went to the high school I was sure to meet my friend in the parking lot before going in. I was sure to look up online which areas I could leave my car without being ticketed or surrounded and boxed in by buses while inside. I noticed a lot about the general cleanliness of the place, and I was confused by many of the acronyms used by the teachers and administrators I was speaking with. Sound familiar?

What can our churches do to improve our first-time guest experience? What might you notice this Sunday?

Milo Wilson

1 comment:

  1. We live in a world where people judge things based on appearance. So how a place looks matters whether we like it or not. Interestingly, churches are judged like restaurants and stores. People pay a visit and can pretty much tell you within the first couple minutes whether or not they'd want to return on another day based on "little things" like the decor, the parking lot, being greeted or ignored, etc.