Are You Reaching Non-Christians This Christmas? (Part 3)

Yesterday, we learned how you can have more first-time guests than usual at your Christmas service. But what do you do with your guests once they arrive? How can you make them feel comfortable? Is there anything you can do now to make sure they’ll want to keep coming back to your church in the new year?

Turning first-time guests into fully-engaged members of your church is what assimilation is all about. In my book, Fusion, I detail a plan for creating a system that will help you keep the newcomers who come through your doors. If you haven’t had a chance to study that system, let me encourage you to do so. In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to make sure your first-time guests have a great experience this Christmas:

1. Spiff your church up – make it look as good as it can look.
2. Have signs in place to point people where they need to go. (For example, have signs pointing the way to the children’s area, the restrooms, and the main sanctuary.)
3. Make sure each guest is properly greeted, directed, treated and seated. Let’s look at this one in a little more detail…

First impressions are very important to your first-time guest. One of the best ways to make sure he feels welcomed and gets a good first impression of your church is by creating a strong pre-service – one where he is:

Greeted – Welcomed with a friendly smile by someone at the front door
Directed – Simply and politely shown where he needs to go (preferably by a sign and a volunteer)
Treated – Happily surprised with comfort food/drink (Offering hot coffee and donuts in your service will speak volumes to the new people who show up.)
Seated – Led to a comfortable, appropriate seat by a volunteer

The first-time guests you’ll have this Christmas will be making gut-level judgment calls about your church from the minute they hit the parking lot. What they see, before your service even begins, will determine whether or not they’ll ever come back.

Take some time today to think about what you can do to make your first-time guests feel welcomed this Christmas season. Put some time into polishing up your method of Greeting, Directing, Treating and Seating.

If you put some intentional focus on your assimilation efforts as you prepare for your Christmas services, you will see many more of those first-time guests become second-time guests, then regular attenders and ultimately, fully-engaged members in 2009!

– Nelson

P.S. – If you’d like to learn more about how to keep the first-time guests God brings you, check out Fusion or take a look at these tools and resources. Have a great Thursday!

Like This Post? Stay Updated with Nelson:

Share This Post

© Nelson Searcy. All Rights Reserved.

About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyAssimilation, Evangelism, Ministry

tagged with: ,,,