Nelson Searcy speaks volumes about first impressions …

Everything Speaks to a First-Time Guest … Everything

Memorize the next sentence and make it your mantra:

Everything speaks to a first-time guest…. Everything.

From the moment a guest sets foot on your property, he tunes in to receive the message your church is sending.

You have an obligation to strive for excellence. You don’t have to be perfect, you just  have to do the very best you can with what you’ve got – which is the definition of Godly excellence.

The thinking behind “Greeted, Directed, Treated and Seated” may be a paradigm shift for you. Until this point, your plan for first-time guests may have been simply to get them through the door and make your impression with the service itself. While that sounds good in theory, research has shown that you don’t have that luxury.

By the time your service starts, your guests have already made judgments about your environment, interacted with people who may or may not have rubbed them the right way, figured out how to navigate your hallways, and found themselves a seat…more than enough experience with your church for a gut-level impression to have firmly formed.

And once the first impression has been made, you can do very little in the service itself to change it. If they have already formed a negative impression, that impression becomes the lens through which they view everything else over the next hour or so.

Conversely, if you create a “raving fan” in the pre-service, they will engage in the rest of your service with a heightened enthusiasm, which leaves them more open to hearing from God.

With a strong pre-service in place, seven minutes is all you need to show your guests just how much you care about them and want them back!