Making church visitors feel comfortable about visiting and attending your church is a key ministry component to consider. While the pastor is responsible for delivering the sermon and possibly helping with the service order, the worship director handles the sound, music selections, and stage designs, the communication director handles the website and communication on stage–all these things work together to make church visitors comfortable in worship services.
In this article, we’ll look at seven ways to make church visitors comfortable in worship services:
Table of Contents
#1 – Provide Service Videos on the Church Website or Church YouTube Channel
One of the best and easiest ways to help church visitors comfortable in worship services is to allow them to see one of your church services before they step foot in your church. By having embedded church service videos on your website, clearly marked so that visitors can find them, you can ensure that people will preview your church before they decide to attend. It’s best to use Vimeo or YouTube to host your videos and embed these with video previews in your website. Make sure whenever possible that the videos include the worship set. Some churches cut this out and it hinders visitors from obtaining a full concept of what the church service will be like.
#2 – Provide a Plan a Visit Option on the Website and via Social Media
Many churches offer a simple way to “plan a visit” for church visitors. I’ve seen funny videos to help people know where to park, where to walk up, and where to check in their kids (great way to show that your church is fun), I’ve seen others use texting solutions to text you info about where to go and who to connect with. Planning a visit in advance gets buy-in from the visitors because your church has shown that they matter. It begins a relationship that is much more personal than an anonymous visit without anyone knowing that you and your family are coming.
#3 – Train Your Welcome Team to be Friendly, Not Weird
I think nearly everyone has visited a church and gotten the weird creepy vibe from someone on the welcome team who asks just a few too many questions; or the expert hugger woman who will not allow anyone into the doors until she hugs each and every person (not cool for those who don’t like physical contact with strangers). Once we visited a small Baptist church to see our friend guest lead worship. We had all four of our kids with us in the pew, the oldest was a cut teen boy. One by one, we noticed families with teen girls gravitate to our row and come over to introduce themselves. It was awkward, to say the least. Train your welcome team to be polite, happy, and welcoming, and to notice how someone wants to engage. Perhaps just a hello is needed; others may want to have a quick conversation. Having welcome team members who are sensitive to the people showing up for the first time can go a long way to making church visitors feel comfortable in worship services.
#4 – Keep Your Church Building at a Comfortable Temperature
As a guest worship leader who has served at a variety of churches and locations, I can tell you that it’s not a given that people want to be cool and comfortable when they go to church. If your church is located in an area that has summer heat and potential humidity, people will not be comfortable if the room is above 77 degrees. In most cases, 74 or 75 is a much more comfortable temperature to keep your sanctuary cooled to. Anything hotter, and the women will be taking their cardigans off and the men will be uncomfortably hot. Don’t try to pinch pennies in this area. Maintaining your building with HVAC systems that can keep an even cool temperature is vital.
#5 – Keep the Sound Levels Reasonable for All Ears
We all know the mega-churches that pass out earplugs on Sunday mornings. While this makes for a light joke, in reality, most people aren’t comfortable listening to decibels above 85-90. Most churches can play it safe staying within the 75-85 decibels range to keep everyone happy. You don’t want worship sound wars, after all.
#6 – Make the Lighting Environment Work for Your Church Mood, But Not So Dark That People Trip
This might seem like a no-brainer, but lighting can be another area that stumps church visitors. If they are used to a church with natural light, they will feel slightly uncomfortable with a pitch-black zero ambient ambient-lighted church. Hopefully, the church visitors previewed your services online, so they know what type of service they are visiting. However, it is important to say that while total darkness seems lovely for the worship director with the lighting theatrics connected to ProPresenter and the fancy LED wall, if people can’t see their purses to get a pen to take notes or get up to find the bathroom, I can guarantee you that visitors will find this a turn off. Visiting a church isn’t the same as buying tickets to see the latest movie. We expect movie theater darkness at the movies, but not at church.
#7 – Coffee, Snacks, and Carbohydrates, Oh My!
Whether you are visiting someone’s home or visiting a new church, it’s lovely when a range of hot beverages, water bottles, snack bags for the kids, and perhaps even a tasty carbohydrate such as a bagel or donut are offered. Snacks also provide a nice option before and after the service for people to connect. This can be a wonderful way for your church members to introduce themselves to the church visitors. Plus, their kids will love the donuts with sprinkles and most likely ask to return next week!
Lastly, having a visitor table, a visit text number to text for more info, or a connection card to fill out and drop in the offering can be a wonderful way to make church visitors feel welcome. Some churches offer welcome gifts, which can also be a nice way to help people feel that your church is equipped to reach them where they are.
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