Every week, multisite pastors and leaders stand atop a platform with a mic in their hand and make statements that either connect and engages their audience or ignores them altogether. Far too often, our words and phrases lack intention and connectivity. But, as campus pastors and multisite leaders, we must take advantage of each moment on the platform to make verbal connections with everyone in the room – first time guest or not.
1. “Thank you for saying yes to church today. We know that because you said yes to being here, you said no to being somewhere else, and we’re glad you did. Church is a choice, and we think you’ve made an excellent choice being here today.”
Recognizing that our new guests and regular attendees could have been anywhere else, goes a long way in connecting with them. Something or someone drew them here, and we should acknowledge that fact often.
2. “If you do one thing as a guest today, please fill out the Connection Card found in the seatback in front of you. Submitting a card is not about us getting your information, but rather a simple way to start a conversation.”
Guests often don’t know how to connect with our church at the next level, so we like to make the first step super easy.
3. “You’re sitting next to some of the most generous people I know.”
When the offering setup comes in the service, guests sometimes twist in their seats. I also like to relieve the pressure surrounding the “money” talk by letting them know no one invited them here to give today. At the same time, I’m letting them know giving is a significant part of our church culture.
4. “You might be just checking this whole church thing out; maybe your neighbor or friend promised you a meal if you came today. If that is you, we’re glad you’re here, and we’ve got about 35 minutes left to our service.”
Recognizing guests are visiting our church in response to an invite reinforces our invite culture in our church. Also, anytime I can forecast the remaining time or elements left in the service provides light at the end of the tunnel for newer guests.
5. “More than experiencing a great church today, we hope you experience the greatness of our God. He is the reason we gathered today. The songs we’ve been singing help us celebrate His greatness.”
I like to remind our guests and myself that the church experience is not our teams or even me, the service is about experiencing God’s presence and the person of the Holy Spirit.
6. “Just come back next week!”
I like to remind everyone at the end of our services that the most important thing they can do is to return next weekend, the weekend after, and so on. It’s our responsibility to help people understand the importance, and benefit of attending worship services week after week.
7. “We are one church that meets in multiple locations.”
Just because the regulars know we are a multisite church, it doesn’t mean the new guests know. I’m still surprised at the number of people who visit for the very first time, and don’t know we are a multisite church. I love helping our guests, and regular attendees think outside the four walls of our location.
8. “You might be hurting today, and we want you to know we are here for you. In fact, after service today our prayer team and staff will be available to pray with you.”
Every week people come to our churches looking for hope, healing, acceptance, and love. We’ve got to let them know up front that we’re here for them, and that prayer is not our last resort, but our first response.
9. “Showing up doesn’t mean you’re growing up. Take your next step and get connected.”
At first, this statement can seem harsh, but it is not aimed at guests, rather those who have been attending week after week, and have yet to get involved. It’s important to make the next step clear for everyone. At Christ Fellowship we encourage everyone to take The Journey – a 4-week experience. Following The Journey, the goal is to see everyone join a group and serve on the Dream Team at their location.
These are a sampling of the statements I often use to help connect with our guests, and increase the engagement of our regular attendees. Do you have some go-to phrases?
Comment below and share.