There are many factors that influence a visitors perception about your church, These perceptions influence them before they visit your church, or whether they should return again.
Every point below can either help or hinder their decision making process regarding whether they should stick around for one more week:
- Signage (I once saw a church sign that said Merry Christmas! on the top line and 'Turn or burn' on the 2nd line. Sigh)
- Printed collateral
- Anchor in a service
- What other people (or churches) tell your friend about your church.
- What denomination you belong to
- If you aren't closely linked into a denomination, what does that mean?
- Their perception of "church" or Christians in general
- Coffee (very important in Melbourne)
- You/they listened to me.
- What they think about you, or the person who is inviting them.
- What they think about the highest profile person in the church (If they are from a churched background)
- Receptionist (Yes, they are an ambassador of your church)
- How you talk about "them" when they visit you. Do you talk as though they aren't in the room?
- Invitation to a morning tea/lunch/dinner by a member of your congregation
- You/the church talks to them, not at them.
- Church name
- Your advertising
- Facility (A facility can shape your perception of an organisation when you walk into it)
- Language – do you use inclusive language that they understand? or do you use exclusive language which only insiders get?
- What you believe – sounds obvious, but it's a big deal for those from a faith background.
- A person from your church or your church helped them in some way.
- The speaker
My point is this. Every touchpoint shapes a visitors perception positively or negatively.
Are you in credit or in debit?
What barriers would you add? What would help?