On Mondays I always share an excerpt from a book that I have found helpful in strengthening the Sunday School, small groups, or leaders of the church. Today’s excerpt comes from the book Beyond the First Visit: The Complete Guide to Welcoming People to Your Church.
We must guesterize our church…Guesterizing your church occurs when you make guests feel like the most important people at your church on Sunday morning. It means responding to their needs in a manner that causes them to enjoy their time with you. It means giving superior service so that they want to move beyond the first visit…At the end of one service, a pastor said, “Remember the 5-Minute Rule.” This intrigued me since I’d never heard of the 5-Minute Rule. I later found out that the people of the church had been instructed to speak to guests the first five minutes following the worship service. They were not able to do any church business or talk to their friends until five minutes had elapsed. If you want to be a church that sees guests returning, I suggest you reserve the first five minutes following the worship service for interacting with them (pp.106ff).
I am increasingly sensitive to guests and what we sometimes accidentally ask them to endure on a Sunday morning. I find McIntosh’s admonition to consider using the 5-Minute Rule to be an intriguing way to place guests in a priority position when they visit. How would your church respond if you suggested the use of the 5-Minute Rule? Could the people of your church place the guests ahead of themselves? How might this change the culture of your church if you could implement it?
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