Wednesday, May 8, 2013

First Time Visitor Survey

At yesterday’s staff meeting I used this photo of a recently received visitors survey as a reminder of some important lessons.  The answers provide us a “target” for a successful Sunday. 

How did you hear about Mountaintop Community Church?


People join churches – and more importantly are introduced to Jesus and a better way of life – when friends invite them.  In all of our ministries we need to be constantly reminding, encouraging and equipping those who are here to invite their friends.  Found people find people – it’s just that simple.

Based on your experience today, how likely are you to return to Mountaintop?

very likely

Our goal is that the Sunday morning experience would make someone want to come back (and when people come back they bring their friends).  That’s true across our campus.  In a recent new member class a single mom shared with me that she was joining Mountaintop because of all the churches she visited ours was the only one where her 5-year old daughter doesn’t cry when dropped off in Children’s Ministry.  That matches what another couple told me.  They’ve quit “church shopping” because their elementary age kids want to come here.  Another single mom, who unfortunately has to work most Sunday mornings, told me this week that her 9-year old son never wants to miss a Sunday so she has to arrange rides for him on the days she works.  Our Children’s Ministry is rocking!

What did you enjoy most about the service?

Music and down to earth message

The survey was filled out following our April 28th service.  That was the Sunday that we overloaded a circuit and lost power to all of our screens.  We were as low-tech as we have been in a long time.  For the most part there were no words for songs and at one service no scriptures on the screens.  The music selection that Sunday was entirely worship songs ranging from old hymns (I Need Thee Every Hour) to the latest Passion songs (Burning in My Soul – which ironically has the line: there is power in this hour).  There was no secular song, no drama and for my message I didn’t use videos or clever gadgets or props (and oh how I love props).  I did use 22 different passages from Scripture (on the heavy side since it was an introduction to Proverbs).  And without power and without “seeker targeted” elements or message what the guest enjoyed most was the music and the down to earth message (which is really my communication goal).

There are so many lessons here but perhaps the most significant one is simply this – “seekers” (if that’s still the right word to use) want authenticity.   They want to see what church is and why we believe what we believe.  As long as we don’t make them feel uncomfortable they actually are okay coming to church.

What suggestions would you make?

Cannot think of any

We’d actually welcome suggestions – and no worries, we receive plenty of suggestions each week!

How often do you attend church services?

It’s been years

This is my favorite answer.  This is why I am convinced Mountaintop exists.  We are a church for people who haven’t been to church in years.  We want people to feel welcome and safe.  We want their kids to love the kids programs, we want them to want to come back and to bring their friends.  We need to maintain our heart for those who will answer “it’s been years” so that we might show them that we are a community of people who are learning and sharing a better way to live in Jesus.

One last lesson.

I posted this photo on Facebook and one of my observant Facebook friends quickly spotted a typo in the form.  Apparently we’ve been inviting first time guests to complete a “Fist Time Visitor Survey.”  When that was posted as a comment to the picture my first reaction was to become defensive and suggest that we actually “fist-bump” every guest (I guess my first reaction was a fist reaction)!  The truth is we make mistakes – we move too quickly and make typos and let things fall through the cracks.  We are works in progress and we have lots of work to do.  That’s actually a whole lot more fun that imagining that we have already “arrived!” But we have to be more attentive to details.  And just so you know that typo has been corrected.

Not every survey is as affirming and not every Sunday is what we hope it might be but this survey from the 28th sets a great target for us in ministry:

People who attend Mountaintop will invite their friends, especially friends who haven’t attended church in years (if ever).

When their friends come they will feel like welcomed guests.

Guest will enjoy the music and the message and will want to come back and will want to tell their friends (who have attended church in years)

And that's how we will learn and share a better way to live!

To the glory of God!

T Doug

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