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The Laws of FIMP

"What are the Laws of FIMP?" you ask...Certain guiding principles for acceptable guest interactions at church (as experienced by the author, FIMP)

"First IMPressions matter!" So says FIMP.

  • The Main Entrance to the church is NOT a good storage closet.

  • Six guest cars don't fit into two guest parking spaces.

  • It doesn't cost that much more to turn the volume up on the sound system so that a speaker can actually be heard. It costs a lot when guests can't hear the speaker.

  • It is usually better to look at a first-time guest to whom you give a worship guide than to be looking backwards over your shoulder and talking to the church member behind you.

  • A good first impression made at church will be a good first impression shared in the neighborhood.

  • Miss a kid...miss a parent!

  • If you make a less than positive impression early in the guest experience at church, good impressions just got harder!

  • A guest visit to your church's website may be as close as the guest ever gets to your church door.

  • Three greeters at the church door talking to one another is NOT greater than one greeter focused on his assignment.

  • It is hard for a guest to read important and time-sensitive guest or worship related information printed in the church bulletin, if sitting in the dark.

  • The people orientation (openness and availability) of church leadership Monday-Friday translates into the church’s guest orientation (friendliness and hospitality) on Sunday.

  • Visitors to your church website on Sunday morning should not have to search the site for the time and location of the services.

  • Happy, smiling greeters make for happy, smiling guests.

  • Introductions of weekly platform personalities may not be necessary to regular church attenders but it is very helpful for first time guests.

  • Twenty steps inside the church door is a great place for a greeter!

  • Guest appreciation gifts should be gifts a guest will appreciate!

  • Guests are much more likely to park in guest parking if they know where it is before they park.

  • A tree in the way of a church sign is a tree in the way!

  • Clutter that members don’t notice anymore is clutter that guests will see every time.

  • A first-time church guest doesn’t speak church insider language.

  • An empty Welcome Booth says “un-welcome.”

  • A 14 page church bulletin is a BIT (tongue way into the cheek) too big.

  • Guests don’t like to ask, “Where is the restroom?” Give them a plainly visible sign to follow.

  • A friendly church is measured best by the church’s guests not the church’s members.

  • Guests will think less about the length of the service during the service if they know how long it will be in advance.

  • Start on time; end on time.

  • Make a Bible text readily accessible to guests... Bibles, mobile device, or projection... to help them be able to read along.

  • The website should accurately represent what the guest will experience at the church... nothing more.

  • Guest clothing doesn't usually need to vibrate on their chest to insure they are hearing the worship music.

  • Guest registration improves by increasing simplicity, decreasing anxiety, and adding incentive.

There you have it, the initial round of FIMP's laws. Do these ring a bell with you? Can you add some more? I would like to hear from you in the comments.

Remember this one additional grand-operating principle for positive guest impressions: “Adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.” Titus 2:10

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