Last year, my husband and I visited a church. When we walked up, we weren’t sure where to go or if we were even going in the correct door. There weren’t any greeters or directions. That was fine though; we’re big kids, so we found our way around and loved our visit. But I got to thinking, “What is missing here? And could it affect turning visitors into members?”

As nominal as this may sound, I realized that having a guest welcoming station is more important that I ever thought. Some churches call it a guest services booth or maybe give it a fun name such as “Starting Point.” But I never paid these stations much attention until I felt lost at a church myself.

Clearly labeled desks or booths that are centrally located and easy to spot are pivotal in helping you turn visitors into members. Why so? Glad you asked.

1. A guest station gives you the opportunity to welcome your guests.
2. A guest station provides a way to answer every question a guest might have.
3. A guest station can help calm visitors’ anxieties. Think of it as a lighthouse for your guests.
4. A guest station shows you care.
5. A guest station allows you to connect with visitors. And every connection matters!
6. A guest station can be loaded with information to hand to your guests. (I would recommend stocking your station with first-time visitor gifts as well.)

All of this adds up to make a visitor feel welcomed and enjoy their first (or 2nd or 3rd) visit. If someone feels welcomed and informed about who you are as a church, the probability of them deciding to keep visiting–or even join–is much higher.

A lot of churches are doing this already. And if your church isn’t, it might be time to start building a guest services booth.