Published: 6 years ago

Why First Impressions Isn’t Just For First Timers

It’s true: I think First Time Guests are a big deal. I believe that they should be an honored part of any church’s weekend. But a First Impressions team done well won’t just benefit the guests. It’ll reap dividends for your long-time members, as well.
This was proven in a recent email from one of our Summit members to one of our First Impressions Directors. The (slightly edited) email is reprinted with his permission:
First Impressions runs so smoothly that I don’t notice what an amazing job you all do, and I think that’s the point. Further, you have done such a great job for so long, that it’s my default to expect an seamless experience. Thus, I would definitely be more inclined to notice First Impressions if they didn’t do a great job rather than if they did do a great job, which is probably the opposite of many churches.
I know your tagline is “the sermon starts in the parking lot,” which probably holds true for people who are first timers or relatively new to the Summit. I think it holds true for us regulars also, but for a different reason. The fact is that I don’t think about the sermon starting because I’m ushered in by a gracious, friendly, smiling parking attendant who is standing in the rain in 40 degree weather. However, the fact that that parking attendant is doing such a great job allows me to be thinking (anticipating or continuing to reflect on) about the sermon and the worship and the fellowship – not about where to sit, how to get to the bathroom, [or] the long crazy line full of people who don’t know how to drive out of a parking lot. First Impressions does such a great job, that my focus from the time I arrive on the property to the time I leave can be on the sermon, the worship, the fellowship, and my great Savior who makes all of that possible.

(photo credit: Brett Seay)

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