Why First Time Visitors Do Not Return


What should I wear? Will I fit in? Will our children have a great experience? Do I have the right Bible?

These are questions people ask before they even step foot in their vehicle and depart for a first time visit to your church. It’s easy for church leaders to forget the emotions people face when visiting a church.  It just happens.

Have you ever asked, “Why do people visit our church and never come back?” Maybe the guest did not have a good experience? Maybe the visitor did not receive follow-up contact?

Whatever the reason … As church leaders we must ensure our guests encounter a great first-time visit!

Here is a list of areas to evaluate -

From start to finish, you need to show your guests they are welcome by providing them an ideal visitor experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can do that:


These days, the guest experience begins on your website. The Internet is your new front door. People will visit your website before visiting your church. Ensure your website is guest friendly.


Whether you are a mega church or a church plant, parking is the first “real-time” impression. Make sure a team of parking lot attendants are present and making a great first impression.


As people enter the doors of your church, greet them with a genuine handshake/hug and smile. Do not barricade or bombard people. Make the entrance accessible.


Have a very clear location where guests and members visit to receive information. Make sure information is readily available.


Make sure you consistently communicate the heart of your church throughout the service. Communicate easy ways for people to get involved.

Follow Up

This is a major area church leaders often neglect. The guest experience does not end when the guest leave the church campus. It only begins.

So how do you create a great guest experience? You evaluate every area of the experience. Evaluating your guest experience will help you give future guests a memorable experience and reasons to come back! Wow! Why would you not spend time evaluating the guest experience?

I created a helpful resource just for you. It is a Guest Experience Evaluation Checklist. The checklist is insanely easy-to-use and will improve your guest experience immediately!

Here is how-to use the checklist -

  1. Download the Evaluation Checklist
  2. Print and Distribute Evaluation Checklist to Selected Church Members, Staff and Local Community Members
  3. Ask the Team of Evaluators to Evaluate Experience and Send Back Checklists
  4. Review Checklists and Identify the Top 3 Action Steps to Improve Your Guest Experience

Checkout a couple of screenshots of the checklist -


As you can see the checklist is very detailed! The resource is completely done-for-you and simple-to-use.

You can download the checklist for $19.95 for the next 7 days + receive a coaching guide with other great ways to improve guest experience.


After 7 days the checklist will not be available for individual download.