I think there are many aspects more important to the health and biblical function of a church than an "excellent guest experience." Frankly, if we're really "being" the church in our own lives and as a body, people will know it and Christ will draw them to Himself through it.
At the same time, evaluating a guest's experience is one of many ways to determine if the church organization is "firing on all cylinders," and functioning in these practical aspects to the very best of our ability.
Preparing to welcome guests and members, and planning adequately for the demands of a weekend service schedule, is just practical and necessary.
I've created this guest experience checklist for a typical Sunday morning routine at church. The list is certainly not comprehensive, and I welcome suggested additions from readers.
- Service times, directions to church — including map and information about the pastor/teacher and teaching series directly accessible from the home page of the website (92 percent of prospective guests visit website first).
- Information about preschool and children's ministries, including security and allergy policies, easily accessible online.
- Youth ministry schedule accessible online.
- Brochures about church (general) or any individual ministry or event, business cards, bulletin and any other printed media contain church contact information, including phone and website address, map to the church, service times and a general description of the style/type of service.
- Receptionist and/or any other person answering telephones or fielding calls is prepared to give information about Sunday mornings at the church, including schedule, directions, a short bio of the pastor and details of current teaching series.
- System in place to capture guest information on preservice contacts; registration card at phones with name, email address blanks; online registration with more detailed contact info; option online to preregister children for preschool/children's area to speed Sunday guest processing.
The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself.