Norm’s Notes                                                  May 24, 2019

Thoughts on New Attenders
When Just Seconds Count
I watched a “First Impressions Conference” online. Thirty speakers spending 10-30 minutes each telling about what their church or organization does to make a great first impression. Mostly speakers from different size churches but Disney and Chick-fil-A were there, too. Here are some take-aways:
A new person (and some long time attenders too) makes a decision about your church in just eight seconds. You have just 8 seconds to make a good first impression. The first 8 seconds is the appearance of the parking lot, lawn, front doors – everything outside is “judged” in just 8 seconds. There is another 8 second time slot just inside the front doors – smells, greeters, welcoming feel – all determined in just 8 seconds. Another 8 seconds as the new attender enters the sanctuary – temperature, help in finding a seat, greeted by people sitting around them. We could also mention the first 8 seconds when a new family enters the nursery, children’s department, or the teen enters the teen room. Even the first 8 seconds in the bathrooms. We all make decisions in just 8 seconds. 
The bottom line is this – if the new attender has just three 8-second negative first impression experiences, it will make no difference how good the music is or how good the message is. They probably will not make FMC their home church. The three 8-second negative impressions can be neutralized if the people sitting around them in the sanctuary greet them in just 30 seconds after the service is over. Often times, after the service regular attenders go toward the people they already know and not toward the new person.
Notice I mention the greeting after the service only neutralizes the three negative 8-second experiences, it does not turn the negatives into a positive. But, the new attender will possibly attend again to see if the next time there are more positives than negatives.
All of that to say – thank you for greeting everyone you do not know. Your smile, greeting, welcome, could change someone’s eternity in just 8 seconds.
See you Sunday!
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