Welcoming

A First Impressions Survey of Newcomers to Church

I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject of welcoming recently - as regular readers of Communicate Jesus would know! (Don't forget about the welcoming roundtable in Sydney next month!)  One book that I've found particularly helpful is Fusion: Turning first-time guests into fully engaged members of your church

by Nelson Searcy. There's a lot of great advice in this book that I've been thinking through how to apply.  One of the suggested applications is a survey of newcomers, sent out in the days after their first visit. Searcy suggests the following questions:

     
  • What did you notice first?
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  • What did you like best?
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  • What was your overall impression?
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  • How can we pray with you?
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  • Name
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  • Email Address

I also noticed The Village Church running a similar survey on their website.  I decided to launch this at Church by the Bridge - below is a snapshot, and you can view online here. We received our first entry last week!  

 There are numerous benefits to this survey. Here's five:

     
  1. Show people that you care about the experience that they have.
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  3. See how church is perceived through the eyes of someone who is new.
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  5. Learn what your church is doing well - how the church and welcome teams can be encouraged.
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  7. Discover what obstacles exist to new people feeling welcomed.
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  9. Understand (over time) whether your church is welcoming or not (don't just rely on gut feel!).