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FIRST-PERSON: Preparing for Easter church guests

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–You’ve inundated your town with prayer and printed invitations to worship at your church on Easter. The nationwide GPS (God’s Plan for Sharing) media blitz has reinforced those efforts. You have a sudden, terrifying thought … “What if they all show up?!”

My husband often says, “You get what you get ready for.” Need fresh ideas for getting ready?


— Update website, guest packets, directional signage and first-time-guest parking spaces.

— Make the church facilities sparkle; they reflect your love for God.

— Prepare extra bulletins, chairs, ushers, greeters, decision counselors.

— Avoid acronyms in printed and spoken announcements; guests won’t have a clue what HSM means.

— Offer your best, wholehearted worship to God.

— Make a plan for guests to receive e-mails, snail mail and a personal contact within 72 hours.


— As you welcome guests, ask them to take the “three-week challenge,” committing to attend your church three times so they can get a true feel for your church and God’s guidance for their lives.

— Incorporate the three-week challenge into your regular communication card or guest registration, with a check box for first time, second time, completed three week challenge and “I lost count.”

— Offer a three-week punch card for a free drink, if you have a church coffee shop.


Urge every church member to personally connect with two guests at church each Sunday. Provide helpful hints:

— Pray silently as you approach guests.

— Write down the guest’s name.

— Walk with guests to their destination.

— Jot your personal phone or e-mail on a card for the guest.

— Tell them what you love about your church.

— Introduce guests to other church members with similar interests.
— Invite the guest to small group Bible study.

— Leave your pew and sit near a guest in worship.

— Circle items on the bulletin that might interest the guest.

— Personally invite the guest for coffee, lunch or an upcoming church event.

— Escort the guest to meet the pastor or staff member after worship.

If they all show up to hear about Jesus this Easter Sunday, will you be ready?
Diana Davis is the author of Fresh Ideas (B&H Publishing) and the wife of the Indiana Baptist State Convention executive director. Learn more at www.keeponshining.com. Learn more about GPS at www.gps2020.net.

    About the Author

  • Diana Davis