It’s amazing how strong a first impression can be. Stop and recall some of your best first-time experiences as a kid. Teachers, sports teams and more, all hold either really great first impressions, or negative impressions for us all. It’s true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
As we do ministry, it is so easy to get caught up in the urgency of the “now.” We can forget that sharing the love of Jesus might begin with a win at the first impression your ministry gives.
Here are just a few items to consider:
Parent Pointers:
How hard is it to actually register at your church?
How easily can families find their child’s area?
Do you escort guests or point them to an area?
It’s a strategic move to consider what first impressions are being sent in your physical ministry environment.
And how is information given?
Do you load them up with paper, or point them to a website?
Do you send a thank-you note or email as a follow-up?
Do you ask how to improve?
Consider this: As a first time attending parent I want my child to enjoy what they experience. Fun is a factor. I like it when you greet and speak to my child. This builds confidence for me to leave them in your care. Trust is a factor. Parents are looking for safety where they leave their child. They have little problems with security measures and IDs, etc. In fact, I believe it’s appreciated!
Child Pointers:
If I am a child entering your ministry area I want to be welcomed and greeted. I want to feel like you are sincerely glad I’m here. Please don’t think I understand the schedule or plan for the day. Help me understand. If you will tell me what’s planned and what we’ll be doing, it will reassure me. I’m really nervous about being in a different place.
Assure me I don’t need to participate if I don’t want to as a guest in your area. Ask me some details about what I like to do, and what I enjoy. I do like to share great stuff about myself.
Ask me questions. Let me meet another kid my age and help me say, “Hi.” Assure me that you won’t put me up front of anything or draw attention to me unless I choose. Tell me about next week so I can think about coming back. End on a high note with me with a sincere, “Thanks so much for coming.”
Keep this quote from Walt Disney in mind, “Do what you do so well that people want to see it again and bring their friends.”