I did a Twitter poll to ask these first-time guests why they chose not to return to a particular church. While some of the responses were anticipated, I admit being a bit surprised with some of them. Though my poll is not scientific, it is nevertheless fascinating. Here are the top 10 responses in order of frequency.
Having a stand up and greet one another time in the worship service. This response was my greatest surprise for two reasons. First, I was surprised how much guests are really uncomfortable during this time. Second, I was really surprised that it was the most frequent response.
Unfriendly church members. This response was anticipated, but the surprise was the number of respondents who cited non-genuine friendliness in their answers. In other words, the guests perceived some of the church members were faking it.
Unsafe and unclean children’s area. This response generated the greatest emotional reactions. If your church does not give a high priority to children, don’t expect young families to attend.
No place to get information. If your church does not have a clear and obvious place to get information, you probably have lowered the chances of a return visit by half. There also should be someone to greet and assist guests at that information center.
Bad church website. Most of the church guests went to the church website before attending a worship service. If they attended the service after visiting a bad website, they attended with a prejudicial perspective. The two indispensable items guests want on a website are address and times of services. It’s just that basic.
Poor signage. If you have been attending a church for a few weeks, you forget all about the signage. You don’t need it anymore, but guests do. They are frustrated when it’s not there.” (Click here to read the rest of the reasons.)