How to Create A Helpful Guest Guide

Did you know that new research says that a guest 18-35 years old is more interested in being comfortable than knowing you are glad they are there? If you have that demographic attending your church like we do, that should force us to ask key questions. One of those key questions is, "How do you provide a helpful snapshot of your church to a guest in an attractive and relevant way?" I have seen some really bad brochures, pamphlets, and cards. I am sure you have as well. The design does not look great, the language feels internal, too much is being said or not enough, and the content does not have the guest in mind. 

What if you took a step back and asked  "If we created a Guest Guide, what would a guest want to know?"

Here are five elements to include in your Guest Guide:

  1. Who you are
  2. What the guest can expect in your service
  3. What you offer the guest and his/her family
  4. A simple next step the guest can take
  5. How to contact the church if the guest wants to know more (web, social media, email, phone, etc)

Of course, there are peripheral items that matter too:

  • Colors
  • Design
  • Language
  • Pictures 
  • Length
  • Paper Quality (including gloss versus matte)
  • Building Map
  • Environment Logos

Here is the Guest Guide that I created for Buckhead Church:

I know a lot of churches give away a free gift (i.e., mug, t-shirt, gift card). I don't think you need to feel pressure to do so. In fact, I think we (in the church) think they (the guest) want something (a gift) more than they really want something. I often think a gift is covering up or making up for the lack somewhere else and hoping the guest does not know. In the Guest Guide, I decided to include a CD with three songs they would hear at this location. Music is powerful and recognize that a lot of our guests comment on how much they like the music. Think of it as a way to send one likeable element home with the guest. Perhaps at some point during the week, the music will encourage them and even trigger the thought of returning to church. I also decided to include a simple experience feedback card in the Guest Guide as well. This is simply paper clipped to the page adjacent to the cd and referenced when giving this guide to the guest. We give clear instructions to the guest on how long it takes to fill out the card and why their voice is so important to us immediately after the service while it is still fresh.