I found this interesting article on line about surveying first time visitors (Link broken) who visit your church for the first time.
The basic premise is put a survey form on your church’s website, ask first time visitors to go there and rate/comment on the service.
The article goes on to comment about such a survey and why it might be a useful addition to your church web page.
Questions about a guest’s experience at the church can inform you about your facilities, your staff and members, the efficacy of your ministries, and what worship looks and feels like to new people. Many churches break these questions into categories of hospitality, worship, teaching, music, etc., to better identify what exactly did or did not resonate with guests.
How do they get the information?
What the article doesn’t address is the response rate.
- Do first time visitors fill it out?
- How are visitors invited to fill out the web response form?
- Is there a notice in the bulletin?
- Some kind of response card they go home with?
- Maybe an email from the pastor if they left an email address on the visitor card?
I’ve sent an email to each of the churches to ask these questions.
There are samples from four church web sites:
- Kailua Baptist (broken link)
- New Life Fellowship (broken link)
- Valley Family Church (broken link)
- Crossroads Community Church (broken link)
A review of first time visitor surveys
Kailua Baptist’s was short. It uses both check boxes for yes/no questions, and a comment field for any extended comments. Simple. Easy to complete.
New Life Fellowship had a simple one that is little harder to read (the colors don’t work for me — I find that I have to squint to read the print. The Red asterisks on a green background is awful for a color challenged person like me.) While it has 11 numbered questions, some of them have additional parts.
Valley Family Church had a more lengthy survey (several wheel scrolls of the mouse to reach the bottom. It is a more readable form in terms of its color scheme. But the 0/14 status indicator suggest 14 long pages if information might be requested of me.
The last one had a broken link, so I can’t visit, but the color combinations on their website made for difficult reading and unsettling color contrasts.
Let me ask you this?
Beyond the information on a visitor card, what does your church do to collect “experience” data from your visitors, particularly those who may not return?
Feel free to share your comments below.
Thank you for this page! I’ve learned a few *pointers
I’d like to comment that we’re one of those churches for whom a web-based survey wouldn’t work. Most of our community has no internet access.
As the greeter at the front door, I try to catch everyone I’ve never seen before and ask them to give some infomation about themselves, including any prayer requests.
Since we ask that the survey enfolded in our brochure be turned in at offering time, there’s also little *chance for visitors to give perspective about how they were ministered to or left out; or, whether they liked the service.
*”Particularly those who will not return” I’ve been in places myself and become dissatisfied, where, the simple curiosity of a local/regular/employee/member and their obvious want to help have drawn me back in for the long-term. Yet I realize I’m a strange guy and some are not so easy to catch. I do want to know why some people are never seen again. If it’s the way we say the Bible is the word of God or that Jesus is the only Savior, we can’t really fix that. If it was my body language saying, “Eeek! What are they doing here dressed like THAT?!” I definitely need to change that!
Thank you for your insight. I’ll be sharing your perspective with our worship committee, and