Chapter 4 really made me think. As a pastor, I have a tendency to think like a first-time visitor. That is the reason this chapter on first impressions resonates with me. I believe one of the most frightening experiences in life is visiting a church for the first time. It will be what the visitor experiences in that first visit that will either relieve that fear, or multiply it. Rainer lists the five first impressions areas that were noted in the research. Here they are.
2. Nice Facilities / Adequate Space
3. Nursery / Preschool / Children’s Isues
4. Organization or Chaos
5. Greeters and Welcome Centers
It is worth noting that of all the areas of impressions listed, preaching was mentioned last. Here is what that tells me. A person who visits the church is likely to make up their mind as to whether or not they will return before they even hear the pastor’s message.