5 Ways You Make Your Guests Feel Comfortable

Church visitors come and church visitors go. And most of the time, it’s just like that. In a typical North American church, less than 15 percent of all first-time visitors ever return. Over the years, I’ve spoken with hundreds of business owners and every one of them has agreed – if they only retained […]

4 Ways Your Greeters Make Guests Feel Welcome

When it comes to first-time visitors, you may be surprised to learn that perhaps the most influential person your guests will meet isn’t your worship leader. It’s not the choir director, Christian education leader, or the board chair. It’s not even your pastor. Believe it or not, probably the most influential person your first-timers meet is your […]

Ushers Ush

“Good morning, Mrs. Dalton. Do you have a seating preference?”

“Oh, Sheila, you ask me every week. You know I always sit in the same place.”

The usher smiled. “Yes, but you never know!” Then she turned to a couple who was just then coming through the door. “Good morning! Do you have a seating preference?”

“Well, we […]

Liturgy, Pentecostalism, and the Unchurched

I just returned from a place where I was working with a new church start from one of the “confessional” churches… one of those that, by and large, practices a formal liturgy. In this case, the church had relaxed the liturgy a bit, but to those not raised in a smells-and-bells church, even their relaxed […]


The nursery is one of the most important rooms in the church and should reflect the type of homes the parents have made for their children (or in some cases should be much better than). It should be on the same level as the worship area and should be located close to it. It […]

Bells Ringing in My Ears

I had to vacate my house for the night because some remodeling was being done, so I checked into a Holiday Inn.  While I was out walking my dogs, one of the biggest mainline churches nearby began to ring out old hymn tunes.  I was a block away and it hurt my ears.  I went […]

Hospitality Gone Awry

Sometimes you just can’t win.

After a year of talking about what it takes to be a welcoming church, this image suggests one step forward and two steps back.

To be honest, this congregation set their own table … I didn’t make any recommendations about their Sunday morning refreshment selection, and as you can see it […]

Turning Guests into Committed Members [Connections Pt. 2]

In the first part of this article series we dealt with the most common problem churches have – getting visitors to return. In fact, churches are so troubled by this issue that the national average appears to be that significantly less than 15 percent of first-time visitors return for a second helping.

However, when a […]

Turning First-Time Visitors into Returning Guests [Connections Part 1]

According to our research, it appears that in North America less than 15 percent of first time church visitors return for a second visit. I’m sure it doesn’t follow denominational lines exactly, but it appears that in mainline denominations that number actually hovers nearer to 11 percent. That means that if 100 visitors graced your […]