Monday, January 21, 2013

Building Relationship Bridges to Your Guests

Below is a summary of an article I wrote a few years ago entitled "How Adult Sunday School Classes Assimilate Guests." Although I would use a different title today such as the one for this blog, I believe the information is still relevant and applicable. Here are a few excerpts. You can view the entire article by clicking on the article title above.

The number seven is important to remember.
Within the first seven minutes of a person's visit to a Bible study group, they will determine whether or not they will return.

Teach your group to be friendly and to expect guests.
Discuss the seven minute principle and lead your group to determine ways they can make the first seven minutes quality time. Prepare and wear name tags. Provide name tags for your guests. Make room for guests every week. Provide guests with the materials you are studying.

Make a commitment to follow-up on all guests. 
Ask the church to provide the class with names of adults who only visited worship. Give those guests the same attention you would give a first time visitor to the class.

When a guest visits, they are evaluating the class using these criteria. Did the class...

  • Put me at ease, help me feel comfortable and remain inconspicuous?
  • Let me know they think I’m important?
  • Learn and meet my basic needs?
  • Listen to me and understand me?
  • Let me know they want me to come back and to be part of their group?
  • Try to understand my situation from my viewpoint?
  • Communicate with me clearly? (I don’t know your group our your church like you do!)