Markers of Especially Welcoming Churches

Today’s guest blog comes to us from Greg Atkinson for

I recently had lunch with a local senior pastor for whom I was doing some coaching and consulting. He asked, “Greg, what are the most common things you see as a church secret shopper?” I’ve heard this question often enough to know what he was really asking: “Where do most churches miss the mark? How can I avoid those problem areas?” Instead of focusing on the negative, I decided to share the things that make me grin ear to ear when I visit churches for the first time. Here are six markers of especially welcoming churches.

1. They place the right people in hospitality.
2. They communicate intentionally and strategically.
3. They take security seriously.
4. They have an efficient children’s check-in process.
5. They think through the response after the sermon.
6. They are intentional about following up with guests.

I know you love Jesus. I know you love your church. If you’re anything like most leaders, you are not anti-growth. But until you consider making strategic changes to your typical Sunday service—including your online presence and your assimilation process—growth may always elude you.

Click here to read the full article.

Your partner in ministry,


P.S. –  Click here to learn more about strengthening your assimilation process with my resource The New Assimilation Seminar.


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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 80 church growth resources and 15+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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