December 2, 2014 Tony Morgan

Visitor Retention: Is Your Church Keeping Its Guests?

I had a pastor contact me recently asking about visitor retention. He wanted some benchmarks to know whether or not his church was doing well when it comes to retaining guests.

Here’s some data from Gary McIntosh and Charles Arn in their book What Every Pastor Should Know: 101 Indispensable Rules of Thumb for Leading Your Church:

  • If the church is growing, you’ll need more guests each year than you have people in your total average attendance. In other words, a growing church of 500 will need more than 500 guests in a year.
  • The typical growing church sees 20% of first-time guests become part of the church.
  • Growing churches see nearly 40% of second-time guests become part of the church.
  • Close to 60% of people will become part of the church after their third visit.

Your first goal should be to get first-time visitors to come back. The goal isn’t to get them immediately connected into a group or serving or to become a member after their first visit. The odds of them making those connections substantially increase, though, after a second or third visit.

Photo Credit: Nicolas Hoizey via Compfight cc

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Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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