Recently, a reader submitted a question via Ask Evangelismcoach.
What are some ideas for identifying visitors?
We are a 2500 member church and many of us don’t know the difference between a visitor and someone who is a member who we just have never met?
I have heard of using name tags, colored coffee cups(ugh!), asking visitors to stand during worship…
I spend time talking with people I do not know/recognize but they end up being members, not visitors. Any suggestions?
I have visited a few churches of this size as the first time visitor.
In a crowd this size, anonymity feels safe, in contrast to a group of 100 people where we would feel obvious as a visitor.
In the last place I visited, the greeters and ushers made sure it was easy for us to get to our seat. Making small talk while 2500 people are entering/exiting is not really ideal.
The only way for us to be easily identified as visitors would be to volunteer that information.
The church gave us plenty of opportunities to do so:
- Fill out a visitor card and put it in the offering.
- Visit the welcome center after the service for a free book.
- Take our child to children’s church and fill out the registration form.
We chose to fill it out and turn it in at the welcome center. The center was well staffed, including the preaching pastor, and everyone was engaged in a conversation with a visitor. We didn’t linger to wait for a conversation.
On our second visit, we allowed our child to visit children’s church. We arrived late so we were the only ones at the registration table. They have a security system in place with wrist bands to match up the right child with the right adult after church.
There we met the children’s director, who make small talk with us while we were filling out their form.
Other responses from Linked In and Facebook discussions:
Look around for those you don’t recognize, Ask them if it’s their first time there and try to remember from then on. - By Mark Willis
Our congregation is way smaller than these two large attended churches. We have appointed members at the doors who will recognize visitors and greet them with a small folder of information, a visitors card to fill out so we can send them a card, a business card with phone numbers and a printed BIC Clic Pen with also a phone number for a Daily Bible Message.
Since I am an Specialty Advertising Dealer, I order the pens. Also, as members, we recognize visitors and many make an effort to greet them even after they are seated. They have the information and pen to take with them and will remember to visit us when back in our area. This might help you to get some ideas as larger congregations will need several greeters. Tom Hay
Be sure to greet people as they are arriving and leaving! Most of us do not do a good job greeting folks on the way out. We often get more questions from visitors at that time. – Clayton
Let me ask others:
If you are in a church over 1000 attenders each weekend,
What are some ways you identify visitors to your church?
Answer in the comment field below.