Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

October 11, 2021

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your ministries?

Your ‘front door’
It is widely recognized that a church’s online presence is the new front door of the church. Often a guest has already experienced your church through your website or online streaming of a weekly service before they arrive on campus for an in-person visit.

To make sure you are making a great first impression online, ask someone with “fresh eyes” to look at your website and find the service times, staff members and directions to your church. Were these easy to discover on your website with just a couple of clicks?

Ask them to evaluate your ministry page for children. Can they clearly share the ministry opportunities for children with you? Do they know what to do and where to go with their children when they arrive on campus? Is the children’s ministry page only focused on one ministry or is it vague and without specific details of what children will experience?

If members are returning after an extended absence, will they feel welcome? Will the welcome be warm and open and free of guilt or accusation? Is there still a place for them in ministry?

Find out more about how to develop a great first impression here.

Your preparation
Once guests arrive in your parking area, can they easily navigate the campus through signage and parking lot greeters? Are there greeters who have been trained to warmly welcome and assist with check-in and seating? Are members encouraged to reach out and welcome guests in the pew?

Are your children’s areas clean and adequately staffed? Are your preschool and children’s areas safe and secure? Is there a plan for two adults in each classroom and a check-in system for receiving and releasing children? Are rooms prepared for teaching before children arrive?

Find out how to create an attractive and safe and secure children’s ministry area here.

It is time to elevate the work of reaching our communities in intentional ways.

Your teaching
Will children experience high-quality teaching and warm relationships? Are teachers “on time,” which means arriving at least 15 minutes before the designated start time for the session? Have the teachers prepared materials before arrival so they are free to interact with parents and children?

Does the room say children are expected when parents and children arrive at the door of the classroom? Is there someone at or near the door to welcome children by name? Is there a vision and plan for disciple-making that is shared with teachers, leaders and parents?

Your next steps
It can be difficult at times to collect contact information from first time guests. Treats such as cookies or candy, information about the church, or a tangible gift, such as an insulated cup or gift card, might be offered as an incentive to share contact information. Having a check-in station for families with children is another way to gather contact information.

Whatever method you choose, plan for a personal contact through text, call or mail in the days following a visit. It is a bonus if a lay person follows up with an invitation to a small group or adult class.

Attendance at many churches has been greatly affected by COVID-19. It is time to elevate the work of reaching our communities in intentional ways.

We must ask ourselves the question, “What will guests and returnees find when they arrive at our door?”

Are you ready to answer that important question?


by Cheryl Markland  
/ Children & Family Ministries Strategist  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the Childhood Ministry newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!