Why We Don't Want "Visitors" At Our Church

July 11, 2013 | by: Kathleen Garber | 0 Comments

(Editor's note:  The following is reposted from Pastor Nathan's personal blog, www.nathancline.blogspot.com)

If someone feels like a visitor at our church, then we messed up. In fact, our team works very hard to ensure that a visitor never shows up at REVO. It's that preparation prior to their arrival that will help us to avoid having VISITORS, and focus more on welcoming GUESTS.

Here's the difference:

Visitors are unexpected. They are oftentimes uninvited. Since they tend to just "show up," you are usually unprepared for them. When you have a visitor you end up having to change your plans because you didn't know ahead of time that they would be there.

When I think of visitors, I think of salesmen showing up on your front door selling cleaning products that look like they were mixed and bottled in the garage of their house. I think of nosy neighbors. I think of that one person that loves to stop by unexpectedly and "catch up" for the next 2 hours.

However, guests are different. Guests are invited. Guests are people that you are expecting. Since you are expecting them, you do things ahead of time to prepare for their arrival. You rearrange the schedule prior to their coming to capitalize on their presence. The anticipation of their entrance often results in heightened excitement. Guests are usually family, friends, and other people that you want to see and connect with.

Here are a few things we do at REVO to welcome guests:
1. We have a team called Guest Services that welcomes people. We strive to help guests from the time they get out of their car to assisting them in finding a seat in the auditorium.

2. We have ample signage. Guests need to know where to park, where to check in kids, where the bathrooms are, where the auditorium is, and how to navigate the different areas of your campus.

3. We have hospitality items prepared for them when they arrive, including breakfast items, drinks, and mints.

4. We have emergency items that they may have forgotten such as diapers of all sizes and wipes for young children, Bibles, pens, and even ear plugs in case the music is too loud for their liking.

5. We have a gift for them, just for stopping by. We have gift cards to local coffee shops so that people can enjoy a latte on us, just to communicate what an honor it was for us to have them as our special guest.

We send out a first time guest survey to all of our guests that give us their email address. One of the questions is, "What did you notice first about REVO?" Over 90% of the responses highlight the incredible team that made them feel welcomed from the moment they drove up.

We want all of our guests to know that not only are they welcomed, but that we were anticipating their arrival and are looking forward to making their first experience at REVO a great one!

So, are you accepting visitors, or welcoming guests? It may determine if anyone ever wants to come back to your house, business, or church.

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