Featured Site SponsorPowerChurch Software
Membership, Contributions, Accounting, and Events Calendar
Click Here for a Free Demo
Top Reason Visitors Don't Return: Unanswered Questions
If a first time visitor to your church has to ask more than one question, you’ve probably lost them, for good.
We live in America. American’s by nature shop. Shoppers not only shop, they compare. Not only do they compare, they keep score. When Americans (your outreach target) walk into a store, restaurant, movie, doctors office, or church, they are keeping score.
Shopping, comparing, and keeping score is not just a part of our American culture, it’s who we are.
Why Unanswered Questions Push Visitors Away
When a first time visitor can’t figure something out on their own, they are forced to go ask a question. The reason this is such a big deal is Americans expect their questions to be answered for them. In their Monday-Saturday cultural norm, most questions are answered before they have to ask. So when they have to ask a question at your church on Sunday, they get frustrated (the opposite of a positive first impression). That one frustration generates a negative mark on their shoppers score card and once your visitor gets a few of those, they won’t return to your church ever again.
Questions Church Visitors Expect To Be Answered For Them
- (Arrival) What door do we go in? (if it’s not totally obvious they will not know).
- Where do my kids go? (the #1 question asked by parents immediately upon entering your church building).
- Where is the bathroom? (the #2 question asked upon entering the building after three cups of coffee).
- Are there Sunday School classes or small groups for us to attend?
- What is the title of the Sunday school or small group class? Who is the teacher? Where are they located in the building? Do you have a handout with info and a map to the classroom?
- How do I get involved? What are my next steps? How do I become a member? Can I join today? (questions a ”Ifinally found my new church home!” visitor asks).
- How do I give? What are my giving options? Can I give cash? Check? On the Web? How do I get a receipt for my donation? (*Many churches encourage first-time visitors not to give but I believe they should be left alone to make that decision because visitors often want to feel part of the church, and giving creates a bond/ownership which increases the chance that they will return.
- What is the website address for the church? Do you have a Facebook page? Twitter page? Can I useYouVersion or other Bible apps in the worship service and small group? (*2 out of 10 people now use Bible apps on their smart phones instead of a printed Bible -and that number continues to grow; If you still don’t understand the value of correctly using social media to do ministry and grow your church, let’s talk).
The information about your church that you already know is not always obvious to new visitors. That’s why it’s important to take some time to evaluate what questions are not being answered for your visitors. An easy way to do this is to follow up with those that visit and ask them if they had to ask any questions or if anything was not obvious during their visit.
Take some time and evaluate the questions visitors ask, and you just may see greater growth this year!
If you have additional question I’d love to help! Contact me at www.about.me/barrywhitlow.
Barry Whitlow is a church growth consultant, a pastor, helps churches use multimedia to cast vision and raise money through capital campaigns. You can read more of his articles on his blog at Church Growth Matters, http://www.barrywhitlow.com.
« Back to Articles