The Power of a First Impression – Part 2 of 4 (Assimilation and Easter)

Last week I started a new series of posts about the importance of the first few minutes of a newcomer’s experience at your church (click here for Part 1).

In fact, a First-Time Guest knows whether or not they’ll return to your church in the first seven minutes of their initial experience at your church.

That’s why the Pre-Service time period is so vital to your Assimilation process.

The four areas you can control during this “Pre-Service” time period are how a person is Greeted, Directed, Treated and Seated, and last week I shared the importance of how someone is Greeted.

The second step in successful pre-service (Directed) is to make sure your guests are quickly and politely shown where they need to go, either by a sign or a volunteer—preferably by both.

We all know the cultural importance of location, location, location!

Well, at church, the equally important phrase to remember is “signs, signs, signs!”

Signs are the single best way to ensure that your guests can find what they need.

Here’s one thing I can almost certainly say about your church… You could use more signage!

Two areas in particular that demand clear signs are the restrooms and the children’s facilities.

If your front door is not easily discernable from the parking lot, make sure you have a sign in place for it too.

Our tendency is to think that our own building is easy to navigate.

For you, that’s true – But for your guests who have never set foot through your door and whose anxiety levels are already high, it’s not.

They have taken a big step by simply showing up.

Make sure you throw them the safety net of letting them know exactly where to go.

Good directions and an abundance of signage can lower your guests’ anxiety and lead them through the open door to hear the good news!

P.S. To maximize your church’s Assimilation System and drastically improve the number of First-Time Guests who return and ultimately become Fully-Committed Members of your church – check out The Assimilation Intensive.

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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 85 church growth resources and 17+ 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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