Why First Impressions Make or Break a Church
I would venture and say that about 90% of a person’s decision whether or not they are going to come back to your church is made by their first impression. So let me get the obvious question out of the way. What kind of first impression is your church giving?
Here’s a recent first impression I received after visiting a church.
It’s Tuesday and I have a meeting with the worship pastor. After driving around the buildings lost for about 15 minutes, I finally find the office building that I’m looking for. As I step inside, I’m immediately pierced by daggers of awkward stares from the people inside that say “you don’t belong here.” And which I think to myself, “thank God I don’t.” I consider turning around and walking out, but for some reason I don’t.
Afraid of the lady working the desk, I cautiously ask where I need to go. She proceeds to point to a far off elevator while telling me to ask someone on the second floor. So I take the elevator to the second floor and get lost again!
I finally find another lady at a desk to ask directions. In mid sentence, she tells me “one second,” looks at her phone, starts laughing, calls in another lady to look at her phone, and they laugh together while I awkwardly stand there waiting. She then takes a moment of her precious time and points down the hall towards another office that is the one I’m supposed to be at.
I don’t think I’ll be visiting this church any time soon.
How would Jesus want us to present our churches? The simple answer is, with love. Love smiles at people when they walk in. Love goes out of your way to help people. Love puts yourself in their shoes and puts their thoughts and feelings before our own.
I will say that It’s not always easy to go out of your way for people and make them feel loved and at home. Much of the time it’s a sacrifice, but it’s what God has called us to do. That means that you’re gonna have to bring your A game 24/7. Your going to have to ask Jesus to fill you with His love every single day.
The world wants real authentic love. Show them in your first impression that you love them. That’s what is going to get people to come back. Not our music and preaching. Love.
Have thoughts on how important a first impression is? Share it in the comments below!