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Okay, you’ve probably read the title and now you are wondering… what in the world does the church parking lot have to do with welcoming first time visitors to your church? Your church may benefit from a well-planned parking lot strategy for greeting visitors and welcoming them to come again.

Focusing on First Time Visitors

Statistics show that first time visitors often decide whether they will return to a church within the first six to ten minutes of entering the door. How well has your church been scoring with new visitors lately? If your bounce rate is much higher than your conversion rate, let’s look at the church parking lot for some strategies that may help.

Designate First Time Visitors Parking
Your church parking lot should have a designated area for visitors. Why? Assimilation begins in your parking area. If your church has more than one entrance, designating a special parking area for visitors will help your welcome team, hospitality committee and door greeters locate and welcome newcomers within those first deciding minutes.

Appoint Church Greeters
There are several names given to the people appointed by the church to represent its members, such as hospitality committee, welcome team, door greeters and the like. By designating a specific area of the parking lot that is nearest to one particular entrance, you are helping this important ministry develop a strategy that will help the church grow.

Set Up First Time Visitors Registration Area
Now that you have successfully directed all first timers through one particular entrance of your church, thanks to special parking spaces designated for visitors, and (hopefully) your chosen church members have welcomed them with smiles and well wishes, the next step is visitor registration.
Create signage that will help direct visitors in the right direction. This is an excellent place to keep first time guest registration cards for newcomers to fill out. Another option used by many churches is a welcome packet for new visitors; the guest registration card is often found inside.