We recently relocated to southwest Florida and, as we continue our quest to find a permanent home, we are visiting churches.
My goal is to find a church for my husband and I and then we hope to purchase a home close to our church.
I worked on staff at a large church for ten years and now help churches develop plans to improve the way they manage their people, time and money, so I have an interesting perspective when I visit a church.
My background is in quality management so I pay attention to small details, systems and processes that affect the church experience. There are many things that impact a member’s experience and each is important.
The church we visited Sunday did a great job and I thought it might help you if I shared my experience.
6 Things This Church Did Well
1. Internet Friendly
I did what most people do today when looking for a church, I went to the Google bar and typed in “churches in Naples”.
This sent me a list of churches which allowed me to visit the church website to find out what they believe, their service times, and driving directions. This church had the domain napleschurch.com – brilliant!
To rank well in Google requires a bit of work behind the scenes but is very doable with a little search engine optimization (SEO) knowledge. If you want to learn about SEO there are a lot of resources out there.
2. Great Website
Websites are often the first impression that someone has with an organization so having a well organized and current website communicates a lot about a church.
This church had an impressive website that was well designed and easy to navigate. This ease communicated to me that they invest resources to maintaining their window to the world.
If you don’t have a website, or just want to improve your site, there is a good, quick read book, How to Build a Church Website for Under $100 on Kindle. This is for churches with limited resources to commit to their website.
3. First Impression
As we drove on to the campus, we saw great way-finding signage explaining where to park if visiting. This helped us know where to go. As we approached the building there were many friendly people welcoming us and as we entered the lobby, there was lots of activity.
The coffee bar was buzzing with people sipping their java and mingling before church. The vibe was upbeat and inviting. There was lots for clear signage helping us figure out which door to enter to get a seat.
The ushers were in uniform – a white button down shirt and dark pants – making them easy to identify. The auditorium had stadium seating with very comfortable chairs. I was really impressed as we sat and waited for the service to begin.
4. Intelligent Use of Technology
A few minutes before service started a video came on the screen welcoming members and visitors and instructed people to take their seats.
The video also prepared visitors for the service by explaining what to expect when the service began. No surprises.
Once the service began the music was upbeat and facilitated a great worship experience. The video announcements were engaging and did a great job recruiting volunteers and explaining upcoming events.
5. Efficient with Time
The service had a clearly defined order of service and it was evident that keeping with the time constraints was a priority.
The service we attended was the second of three services and I’m sure this may have had something to do with it but the service was ended deliberately and on time.
The message was relevant and provided some great takeaways. Each part of the service was executed efficiently and effectively.
Probably the biggest thing I noticed was how intentional everything was. I don’t know how old the facility is, I’m thinking not very, but it was intelligently designed and laid out.
The lobby was open and had a great bookstore, coffee bar, welcome center and plenty of room to mingle with friends. It was evident that someone thought through the entire experience process of a member or visitor and designed a space and a service around that.
I have visited a fair number of churches and I have to say this one does things about as good as any I have seen. In case you are wondering the name of the church is Living Word Family Church. If this is your church please tell your volunteers, employees and leadership team good job!
Do you know of any other churches in southwest Florida I can check out?
photo by: CelestineChua