“First impressions can greatly impact the emotion consumers feel for a brand. What are first impressions like for your customers?” - The Disney Institute via Twitter
What a great question for churches to ask! Every Sunday you create a first impression. When guests first experience your church, they feel something towards your church.
Ultimately, the first impression you create is not about you. It’s about the feelings of others. Everything about your church causes people to feel something. And a person’s feelings determine how they feel about your church, what they say about your church to their friends, whether or not they will return, and if they will listen to your message.
If the first impression you create stirs emotions in your guests, it is so important that you pay attention to the right things. Here are some things to consider that will help you answer the question: What are first impressions like for your guests?
1. Pay attention to your physical environments:
- architectural design
- design on carpet
- texture of surfaces
- focal points and directional signs
- music/ambient noise
- floor plan
2. Pay attention to your volunteers:
- Where are they?
- How easily identifiable are they?
- What do they have permission to do and say?
- Are they sensitive to guests?
- Do they know how to spot a first-time guest?
- What are they wearing?
3. Pay attention to your systems.
Systems are how you do things or how you ask people to do things. In churches, systems are things like . . . how someone registers for camp, how a new volunteer signs up to serve, how someone signs up for online-giving, how parents enroll their children into a class, how someone joins a small group, etc. Make sure your systems are…
- clear – This is what I do.
- easy – This is simple to do.
- results – This gets me where I want to go.
You have the opportunity every week to be a place for people to connect to their Heavenly Father who made them and loves them unconditionally! You get one shot to make a great first impression. You may not get next Sunday to fix what you didn’t do this Sunday.