The First Ten Minutes Principle

Today’s blog post is taken from the book First Impressions: Creating Wow Experiences in your Church. The book is written to pastors and staff leaders responsible for their church’s greeter ministries. Guest experiences are important, and the author discusses the importance of the 10 minute principle. Even though you may not be the one responsible for your church’s greeter ministry, I bet you are responsible for a Bible study group. Take what the author says below and apply it to your Bible study group. I did.

Here’s how seriously we’ve taken this challenge to define our guest’s experience in advance. If our guests can’t say “Wow! I’m impressed! within their first ten minutes on campus, then we’ve failed….What could the first ten minutes principle look like in your setting?…You have just ten minutes. In that time, will your guests say, “Wow. I’m impressed!”?

So how would the 10 minute principle look like inside your Bible study group? A guest shows up. Tick-tock. Ten minutes and counting. Is your group ready to receive this new person? Or will the guest sit in silence while your group members visit and catch up from the week? If you wanted to create a memorable experience for your guests that made them say, “Wow…I’m impressed!” what would that look like?

  • Would you have a designated person or team of greeters whose responsibility it is to engage the guest?
  • Would you place a Personal Study Guide in their hand, or whatever resource your group uses to study the Bible?
  • Would other people in the group take the initiative and introduce themselves to the guest, engaging them in conversation?
  • Would you have open seats?
  • What about snacks or beverages?

I’d like to hear what you would add to the list above in order to create that great “10 minute” experience. How have you impressed your guests and made them say “Wow, that was great!”?

One comment

  1. Have you ever introduced yourself to someone new and 5 minutes later said to yourself, “Now what was their name?” I try very hard to remember their names and use it a couple of times during our initial conversation to solidify what they are. Also, being a “vintage” class, I write their names down as well with a bit of identification (if I met them in the main service area). People are impressed and feel important when you remember their names.

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