The Importance of the First Impression

You Only Get One Chance to Make It

There is an old saying that is absolutely true; you never have a second chance to make a first impression. All of us have visited churches where our first impression was less than positive. No one shook our hand, the services were dry and the people were too. First impressions matter, and sometimes no amount of work on the backside can make up for a poor first impression. A statistic I recently read stated that, on average, people make eleven decisions about things in the first seven seconds. Think about that; inside the first minute of coming in contact with your church, people are making decisions about it whether good or bad. These first impressions can be called moments of truths, or MOTs. If we are smart we will not underestimate these moments.

Let’s consider for a second what MOTs a first time guest may encounter:

1. How does the appearance of the church look when they first drive up?
2. Are the grounds neat and groomed, is their any trash on the property?
3. Does the playground look fun and inviting?
4. Is there a place for me to park?
5. Is there anyone to show me the way into the building?
6. Is there anyone when I walk in the front door that will greet me?
7. Are they genuinely interested or just attending a post?
8. Did people answer my questions?
9. Were they friendly and helpful?
10. Will the people in my class be friendly or not?

On and on we could go but I think the point is made. People are making a great number of decisions about our churches the very first time they come. Since that is true let’s make every effort to make that impression a good one. Whether you’re an official host or not, be willing to be one. Help people with their needs, and be ready to answer any questions. Invite people to sit with you and include them in your discussions. When it comes time to sing; do it with all your heart as unto the Lord. During the preaching time listen attentively, take notes, and be aware of your countenance. People are making decisions based on what they experience and see. Let’s do our best to genuinely make that first impression a good one!

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