I remember like it was yesterday…there were donuts, good donuts. And there were people with smiles. We played a game that seemed like semi-organized chaos, boys were throwing crumpled up paper at the girls and the girls were throwing them back at us. I don’t remember a single word the youth pastor said, actually I don’t even remember the youth pastor. One thing is for sure though, I felt welcomed and I wanted to go back. That was 7th grade at the church I grew up at. I had entered the youth group and I didn’t want to leave…and I didn’t, I stuck with it on a weekly basis through graduation of high school. All of those feelings of awkwardness, not belonging or people staring at that pimple on my forehead went away. I was in a place where I felt accepted immediately and had an all access pass to friends, leaders and my youth pastor.
Now I’m the youth pastor and I see an average of 5 guests a week… I want them to get connected and stay connected to God and others. How many guest do you see on a weekly basis? How do you make them feel welcomed? Do they come back?
“Seven minutes is all you get to make a positive first impression. In the first seven minutes of contact with your church, your first-time guests will know whether or not they are coming back. That’s before a single worship song is sung and before a single word of the message is uttered.” – Fusion
Fusion has helped me work through some of my “assimilation process” as I strive to make our visitors noticed, welcomed and always invited back to be a part of our group.
As staff, we do an okay job of getting students checked-in, giving them a gift and getting their information. However, I feel like that’s where it starts to unravel. We will call the cell phone number, leave a facebook message…but follow up for students is just down right hard.
Giving the students a gift or having them fill out an info card is the easy part. Following up and keeping that system alive is tough! What does your follow up process look like? How do you manage it and keep it fresh for students?
Scott Murray says
I don’t know if I agree. I think the Holy Spirit takes longer than 7 minutes to reach people. To say you ONLY have 7 minutes limits what can happen through the bible teaching a d worship.
Sent from my iPhone
Good feedback. I’m talking more about the pre/post program, welcome and followup. And I hear what your saying about the Spirit…He is ultimately in control of reaching the heart of that student. Does He really take longer than 7 minutes though? A heart reconciled, is it instantaneous or rather over a period of time? You are by far one of my favorite worship pastors and speaker from the Word…God can for sure capture the hearts of that student anywhere in the program. I do think there is something to be said about the welcome, first reactions, and making the student feel at home, comfortable before listening or participating – sometimes we focus on the program and forget about what happens before or after.