The Three Visitors to Your Church

The Four Primary Wayfinding Types
May 12, 2017

The Three Visitors to Your Church

Your church likely hosts far more than three visitors at any given service. The three visitors mentioned in the title refer to the three types of first time visitors who will decide to check out your church and how they process information.

Many churches rely on teams of greeters to welcome visitors and get them to their desired destination, be it a Bible study class, the children check in area or a worship service. These teams of greeters work wonderfully well and are greatly helpful to a visitor who is usually unfamiliar with their new surroundings.

Not every church, however, has the numbers of volunteers at hand to staff every service or special event with greeters. Some services, especially Easter and Christmas, stretch the operational limits of even the most well oiled greeter efforts. Plus, not every visitor wishes to explore your church in the same way. Some wish to enter, find a place to observe and then experience all that a given church has to offer.  Others prefer to make friends at the very moment they enter the door.

As church staff prepare for those who will visit their campus, the following three types of visitors will likely be encountered, generally all at the same service.

1. There are some people, myself included, who react positively to maps and signs. These visitors engage with maps and signs information and enjoy the challenge of “finding their own way”.  They drive onto your campus on the look-out for various signs to lead them to their place.  These folks are visual processors of information.

2. Other visitors are most open to verbal communications, especially when the person who is directing them does so with a map or other device at hand that supports their verbal instructions. Human interaction is the ideal way for these folks to become more familiar with a new facility.  We can refer to these visitors as auditory processors.

3. A fair number of visitors respond to cues such as colors, landmarks, textures, photographs and other similar markers.  The first-time visitors can be viewed as kinesthetic or tactile learners in that they learn best though their sense of touch, or observations of their physical surroundings.

As we design our way-finding programs, planning for these three basic types of thought processes in our visitors assures that we will always be prepared for them, no matter when they choose to join us in worship.

In His service,

Michael Sawyer

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