Find the obstacles that keep your visitor from returning.
You’ve worked so hard to attract church visitors. . . . .
You passionately desire to reach these newcomers for Christ. You know that Jesus can make a difference in their life.
Perhaps you’ve spent money on advertising like a direct mail campaign or business cards members give away. You’ve designed sermon series to hopefully entice a second visit.
You’ve done a lot of hard work to get visitors to come to your church, but they fail to return.
It’s frustrating to work so hard and then feel like it’s all in vain. It leaves you wondering –
Will our church ever reach new people for Christ?
Visitors are coming . . But they are not coming back!
You've spent the money on advertising.
You've designed the perfect sermon series.
You've even motivated the congregation to invite their friends to church!
You celebrate the fruit – they have come, but then the following Sunday, you discover they don't come back.
I’ve seen statistics that indicate that most churches only keep 1-2 out of every 100 first time church visitors. That's dismal.
Just to stay stable, you need to keep 3 out of every 100.
In order to grow, you need to keep 5-7 or more out every 100 visitors.
Do you accidentally keep your church visitors from returning?
Maybe you realize that your hospitality ministry has run on auto-pilot for the last few years. It has decayed to the point where something has to be done.
Inertia and inefficiency always creep in to systems, and churches are no different.
Perhaps your church has accidentally created barriers to helping that first time visitor decide to return for a following Sunday. It happens when things are running on autopilot.
You don't give them a good impression, nor wow them with love and welcome.
You simply hand them a bulletin, and maybe say good morning.
You could spend a few thousand dollars on getting people to 100 additional people to attend your service. But if only one out of a hundred return for a second service, you're successful marketing efforts are wasted on the lack of retention.
If you are planning
- a huge outreach,
- a direct mail campaign
- launch of a Vacation Bible School
- social media blitz to get people to a new sermon series
then are you ready to receive the people who come, or will a poor welcome undermine all your advance work and prayer?
A poor welcome helps your visitors decide not to return.
There are many reasons your visitor might not return.
A poor welcome should not be one of them.
Your systems and processes for your church’s hospitality can always be improved, and decaying systems can be refreshed.
Hospitality ministry is not about marketing to get visitors.
Rather, it is about giving a great impression to your visitor and helping them decide to return and learn more about your congregation's ministry, mission, and people.
You can’t grow your church if your visitors don’t come back.
- 50% of the unchurched choose a church because of friendliness of its members.
- 45% of the churched visitors choose a church because of friendliness of its members.
Are your visitors impressed enough to come back for another visit?
If visitors don’t return, you can’t help them find faith in Christ.
But if they keep returning, you have the opportunity
- to help them find faith in Christ and take baptism,
- discover their calling in the kingdom of God , and
- find a meaningful place to serve in the community.
Every church leader wants their church to have an evangelistic impact on leading people to faith in Christ.
You want newcomers seeking Christ to finally respond to a member’s personal invitation to church.
You want a newcomer that finally gathers the courage to visit your church after several bad experiences years before.
Perhaps you’ve seen that newcomer in your church, but they fail to return.
Your church will not impact that visitor's life story with the gospel if they don’t come back.
You won't see baptisms of new believers if you have these unnecessary barriers in place.
Help your guests decide to come back.
Hospitality to first time visitors is one critical element to growing your church. It plays a huge role in helping your guests decide to make that all important second visit.
Your church can make an eternal difference in the life of your church guests, if you can help them come back on a regular basis.
Every church wants their first time church visitors to come back and start connecting.
Every church wants newcomers to connect and find faith, friendships, and a place to serve in the transformation of a community.
Wise church leaders will review their hospitality systems and look for unnecessary barriers that keep those church visitors from coming back. Wise church leaders will do advance hospitality preparations in expectation of new church guests.
Wise church leaders will
- Review their facility navigation
- Review their current facility appearance.
- Review their church visitor follow-up process.
- Review their status of current hospitality ministries
- Review their current church greeter process / volunteers
Doing this kind of review will often reveal a bunch of
- We need to fix this.
- We ought-a. . .
- We should have . . .
Each time your team does a review of it’s systems, you'll
- Tweak what has broken
- Think of what might be missing and provide it
- Think of how to improve your welcome and greeter process.
By improving your welcome of church guests, you can impress the visitor who is church shopping, whether they are Christian yet or not.
You can have a worship experience that helps people encounter God.
You can put some new touches on your building and grounds to help your visitors and members easily navigate your facility.
Where do we start looking for those barriers?
Were you recently recruited to fix your hospitality ministry?
Were you appointed to fix your hospitality ministry, but don't know where to start?
When you start to think about fixing your church hospitality, we often don’t know where to start.
It’s sort of like the grasping at the fog.
Hospitality committees are often appointed to fix the problems or improve their hospitality systems. It is one area that churches can address in their goal of growth or to double their attendance and make a difference in the community.
Perhaps you were recently recruited to serve on your church’s hospitality committee.
Perhaps you were asked to start your church’s hospitality ministry. Perhaps you’ve been asked to train your church hospitality team.
Perhaps you’ve been appointed by your pastor to figure out how to warm up your church’s welcome.
You don’t need to recreate the wheel. You just need to somewhere to start. You just need a refresher to help you get a great overview of your system and help you find those unnecessary barriers that keep your visitors from returning.
Introducing Break the Unseen Barriers
A DVD Based Discussion Starter series being used by Church Hospitality Teams
I have put a resource together for hospitality committees and welcome ministry leaders that want to start looking at their hospitality systems, but are not sure where to start.
In 13 short sessions on 3 DVDs, I lead your team through some intentional vision casting and problem solving directions aimed at helping you think through your own setting.
Break the Unseen Barriers was recorded live with an audience from several churches of various sizes that want to improve their hospitality.
The discussion questions provoked a lot of thinking and action plans among the attendees who felt re-energized to tackle their hospitality systems.
You might be a small church, or even a larger church that has more than 100 volunteers on a Sunday in your greeter ministry.
They left the conference with some starting points for action – solving that problem of not knowing where to begin.
As a pastor in my very first month at a new church, I was almost too busy to attend. I wasn't even sure what we were doing in the area of hospitality. Your material was straight forward and user friendly. It not only gave me resources and ideas to carry back to the Session, but also gave me the “eyes” I needed to view and evaluate the systems of the church in areas of hospitality.
Everyone in attendance should have been able to make an immediate difference within their churches. There was sufficient Biblical and theological grounding but not so much that the heart of the subject got lost. Very good balance!
This event enabled me and the elder of the church who attended with me to return to our church and begin equipping our other members. It was easy to bring others on board with us as we began to implement lessons learned during the workshop. I would highly recommend this DVD set because it has the potential to make an immediate and important impact on any church's ministry.
The content will give you new tools and resources and the discussions it provokes will simply open your eyes to what you are currently doing. This is an easy to follow study and will benefit many churches.Rev. J. Washburn
I found Chris’ approach extremely helpful as he spoke using a language accessible to clergy and laypersons. He has organized and developed his information which makes it much easier for me to teach elders, deacons, and volunteers to practice hospitality.
Chris provides more than sound bites, he provides a methodology for churches to begin using, so they would then be able to adapt to their own particular context.
Most people charged with serving as greeters in the church may not only have no clue to what they are doing, without this training they may even be harmful to the work of greeting and hospitality. Chris spent time with the seminar participants to help them move away from a less than gracious approach to newcomers and instead, to see it as a calling or an opportunity to share the peace of Jesus Christ.Rev E Gardner
It's hard to see things as problems once you've gotten used to them. Chris helps you look at things from a newcomer's perspective.
In this teaching, Chris doesn't necessarily tell you what to do, but he teaches you what to look for so that you can decide what to do about it. We have a team to work on hospitality, and more of the church has bought into working to make things more welcoming for visitors.
As a result of attending this seminar, we have resolved that no visitor shall sit alone and implemented a fellowship time after church and making that more obvious by moving coffee from the kitchen to the rear of the sanctuary.
I'd recommend this course because it helps you to reevaluate things to which we've become so accustomed we don't notice anymore or at least don't bother us the way they might a new person. We all want to be churches that are welcoming places. This course will help you to become more welcoming.Rev. L Parato
- This has helped jump start conversations among our team.
- This has reinforced what our pastor has been saying
- You've inspired me to do some training and given me great ideas to start
- This was well worth the time.
What is inside Break the Unseen Barriers
Break the Unseen Barriers is a video recording of a seminar I gave in front of a live audience.
It is edited and condensed onto a 3 DVD set that you can watch on your own or as a committee, and based on a lot of the writeen material found on my website.
Each DVD contains:
- 5-6 segments
- about 10-15 minutes each
- together with discussion questions to help you look at your current system of welcoming visitors.
- The visible proof of hospitality ministry
- The best measure of hospitality ministry
- Do people brag about your church?
- God brings visitors to your church.
- Can visitors get in?
- Are you a friendly church?
- Evangelism vs. hospitality,
- Hospitality supports the evangelism work of the church
- What is hospitality ministry?
- The Role of Hospitality Ministry in the church
- The interplay between hospitality and two other systems.
- Key to a hospitality culture
- 5 evidences of attitude problems,
- How Jesus welcomed visitors.
- Customize your welcome for four types of visitors
- What consumerism means for your hospitality ministry
- Goal: Move from Consumer to Member.
- One critical question to help you evaluate your hospitality.
- 2 easy ways to ramp up your friendliness.
- One exercise that will help you remove some unnecessary barriers
- Four questions to ask that will help you see your barriers.
- How to get empathy for your visitors
- 3 quick fixes I picked up from one church experience
- Four reasons your guests do not return
- 8 ways pastors create a vision for hospitality
- 3 ways to committees cast a vision for hospitality
- Principles of organizing your hospitality ministry
- 5 systems that affect your organization
- What techniques do not accomplish
- Possible ways to organize your teams.
- The flow chart of a visitor’s experience
- How to recognize unnecessary barriers that you can remove
- 4 quick fixes to unnecessary barriers you might have.
- How lots of little things drive your visitors away.
- How physical facilities shape first impressions and some possible quick fixes.
- 3 quick tests you can make to double check for a few unnecessary barriers.
- Quick fixes for under $100 each.
- How your volunteers make an impression.
- Quick tips on training volunteers.
- How to help your volunteers excel in their hospitality ministry.
- What your new volunteers don’t know and are too nervous to ask.
- Easy tools to help newcomers personally invite their friends.
- What to put in your first –time visitor letter that increases your visitor’s desire to get involved.
- How to staff a visitor welcome center
- 10 Tips for Greeters.
- How not to embarrass a visitor
- How to get visitor contact information
- How to include your guests in your announcements
- How not to exclude or overlook visitors in your sermons.
- Quick checklist of your worship experience that might discourage a second visit.
- How to give your guests the royal treatment when the service is over.
- How to say good-bye with style.
A Bonus 4th CD Contains:
- Powerpoint version of all slides
- PDF Copy of Powerpoints in a 3 per handout form.
- Additional MP3 interview with another church hospitality expert called "Small Things Matter"
- MP3s of all 13 segments for use on a portable device
- PDF of "10 Ways to improve your hospitality"
- PDF of "Avoid First Time Visitor Nightmares"
- PDF Hospitality Audit
- 18 page printable team discussion guide
There are 10 suggested discussion segments for your committee that will lead to next action steps you can implement right away to remove some of the unseen barriers that you identify from your discussion.
Each of the 13 short segments are under 15 minutes each for manageable use by busy committees. Most end with a discussion starter that will lead to action steps that you can implement right away.
Break the Unseen Barriers was recorded live in front of an audience over the course of a 2 day conference. It has been reformatted and broken into short segments for use by hospitality committees and teams.
How to Get Break the Unseen Barriers
You can acquire your copy of Break the Unseen Barriers to your church Hospitality and have it shipped direct to your church or home (US and Canada only at this time).
It will show you ways to find and break those unseen barriers that keep church visitors from coming back.
Not every church can afford to pay a consultant to come and spend a weekend with them. That could easily run in the thousands of dollars. I've talked with some consultants that have fees in the $10,000 dollar range to visit with churches. Others that I know in this field in the $3000-$5000 range.
Some committees will choose to start reading books on hospitality ministry to go the cheap way. There are plenty of books available on the market, but many seem to be written for large churches with lots of eager volunteers. You may have read some and discovered that many are outdated.
Many hospitality teams that I have talked with over the last 5 years simply need a better starting place at a reasonable price.
A lot of church hospitality practices reflect common sense based on the principle of honoring your guests.
You might be thinking: can't I get this information in books or online for free? You can, but you'll need to search the internet, spend time browsing Amazon, and then process it all. I promise you, you'll waste your time having to process through all the junk left out there from the 1980s and cheesy materials from people who have never updated their material.
Don't be like the guy who reached out to me after he spent nearly $200 on an invite a friend package only to see it was stuck in the late 1980s. He was too embarrassed to use it and threw it in the trash.
I've distilled dozens of books and 20 years of hospitality teaching into these 13 segments to help your committee have a laser like focus on these issues. You can follow the trail that I've made, rather than creating one your self. Save time and start with this material.
The greatest days are still ahead for your church, and all you may need is those outside eyes to help you realize those days. Place your order for Break the Unseen Barriers
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Break the Unseen Barriers will inspire and help you find ways to remove those ministry barriers and increase the impact of your hospitality ministry!
Try it for 90 days! You MUST see ways you can improve your hospitality systems after watching these short videos and discussing them with your team. If you’re not satisfied, I’ll give you 100% of your money back immediately– no questions asked!
No matter what happens… I’ll let you keep the DVD set – even if you decide to ask for a refund.
Simply click here to place your order for you 90 day risk-free viewing period of Break the Unseen Barriers right now…even if it’s 3AM on Sunday.
If you're getting all the results you want from your hospitality ministries and you are getting lots of return visitors, then I must congratulate you on your good fortune! But...
If you're ready to grow your church, remove those hospitality barriers, then this is the knowledge and opportunity you've been praying for!
My only prayer is that you get the help you need while it's available --- especially at this affordable low rate.
It's your season to move to a higher level and upgrade your welcome ministry.