First-time Visitor’s Survey Invites Feedback and Holy Conversation

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When Harvest Church in South Georgia sends a follow-up message to worship visitors it includes a request for their feedback. This opens the door to holy conversation and invites visitors to help strengthen the church, making them a part of the church’s mission from the very first day.


One local church in South Georgia, Harvest in Warner Robbins, has offered a great teaching tool in their Sunday afternoon follow-up email to visitors:

It was really good to have you at Harvest this week. I hope you enjoyed the service. I don’t know if you’re looking for answers, a church home, or just passing through. Whatever the case, I’m glad you chose to check us out. We think church should be a fun, practical place to get the answers we need for life and help us grow in a relationship with God. Helping people connect with God is what Harvest is all about.

This type of survey opens up the door for holy conversation, for the visitor to give feedback to help strengthen the church. The visitor’s input is welcome from the very beginning, thus making the visitor a part of the church’s mission from the very first day.

By the way, as a first-time guest, you have a special point of view that we are always interested in: What was your first impression? Would you take a minute to complete this short 4-question survey? We want Harvest to have a warm and comfortable atmosphere for our guests, so your input will really help.

The vision for the church is right there in the email, “We think church should be a fun practical place to get the answers we need for life and help us grow in a relationship with God. Helping people connect with God is what Harvest is all about.”

 4-Question First Impression Survey

These are the questions posed on the survey:

1. What was your first impression of Harvest?
2. What did you enjoy most?
3. How did you find out about Harvest?
□ Billboard □ Car Magnet □ Internet/Website □ Invited by family, friend, or co-worker
□ Newspaper  □ Postcard □ Radio □ Other:
4. Other Comments?

When using a first-time visitor survey like this in the local church consider adding a fifth question, “What are you praying for?”

Inviting Holy Conversation

Rather than just sending a first-time visitor information about the church, this type of survey opens the door for holy conversation, for the visitor to give feedback to help strengthen the church. The visitor’s input is welcome from the very beginning, thus making the visitor a part of the church’s mission from the very first day.

Holy conversation can happen when leaders invite candid feedback.


Excerpted and adapted from Launching Leaders (Market Square Books, 2019) by Kay Kotan and Phil Schroeder. Used by permission. The book is available at Market Square books.

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About Author

Headshot of Kay Kotan

Kay Kotan is Director of the Office of Equipping Vital Congregations for the Susquehanna Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. A credentialed coach, church consultant, speaker, and author, she served on the Missouri Conference's Healthy Church Initiative Executive Team. Her recent book with coauthor Blake Bradford, Impact! Reclaiming the Call of Lay Ministry (Market Square Publishing Company, 2018), is available at Cokesbury and Amazon.

Phil Schroeder

Phil Schroeder is director of Congregational Development for the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is coauthor with Kay Kotan of Small Church Checkup, available at Upper Room Books, Cokesbury, and Amazon.


Be the Welcoming Church cover image of a smiling person warming embracing anotherHow Can Your Church Make Visitors Feel Truly Welcome and Comfortable?

The Be the Welcoming Church Video Tool Kit will help you develop a congregation-wide ethos of hospitality and institute best practices for greeting newcomers, making them feel at home and encouraging them to return. The resource includes engaging videos, a Study and Discussion Guide, and more. Be the Welcoming Church may be used for hospitality training or in adult classes or groups. more. Learn more and watch video previews now.