50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Visitors

“Get to work making your church more welcoming.” -Meredith Gould

“Watch people connect and grow.” -Shawn Wood

Walking into a church for the first time can be scary.

Are you making your first-time guests feel welcome? Or are you driving them away—unintentionally—with bad signage, reserved seating, clunky communication and more?  

In this practical book, Jonathan Malm examines 50 ways churches make first-time visitors feel unwelcome. The transgressions range from insider lingo to awkward transitions, a cold congregation to the over-eager greeter

Jonathan suggests not only how to fix the problem, but ways churches can put their best foot forward with first-time guests. A few simple changes can help your church roll out the welcome mat for your guests.

Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Guests by Jonathan Malm

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Jonathan Malm

About the Author

Jonathan Malm is the author of Created for More, a 30-day devotional to help you develop a more creative mind. You’ll find him in San Antonio, Texas, roasting his own coffee beans and enjoying life with his wife, Carolina. 

You can learn more at JonathanMalm.com.

Tony Morgan

"In Unwelcome, Jonathan does a great job of guiding you to think through what intentionality in ministry looks like for your church as you welcome first-time guests.”

Tony Morgan, Founder & Chief Strategic Officer of The Unstuck Group

Justin Wise

Unwelcome is the tale of two imaginary churches. One sends visitors running for the doors, the other has them anxiously awaiting Sunday so they can return. Reading and applying the practical principles Jonathan shares in this book will help you move from being the former church to becoming the latter one.”

Justin Wise, Founder of Think Digital

Meredith Gould

"Read Unwelcome for rueful good laughs and wise counsel, then get to work making your church more welcoming."

Meredith Gould, Ph.D., Author of The Social Media Gospel

Scott McClellan

"My first reaction was to begin counting how many copies I would need for the pastors and staff I work with. I'm excited about sharing and discussing this book with them.”

Scott McClellan, Communications Pastor at Irving Bible Church

Greg Atkinson

"It’s easy to point out mistakes in the church that drive people away. But Unwelcome goes one step further and shows you the solution to those mistakes.”

Greg Atkinson, Author, Speaker and Campus Pastor at Transformation Church

Shawn Wood

"Jonathan Malm gives us 50 very practical ways to avoid some of the mistakes churches are making all over the country. Read these. Share them with your teams. Coach on how to avoid them. Then watch people connect and grow.

Shawn Wood, Lead Pastor of Freedom Church

Chuck Scoggins

"The mission of the church is to make disciples. It's a shame when unintentional mistakes cause us to scare guests away and miss our calling. In Unwelcome, Jonathan helps us identify those issues and gives us insight into how to overcome them.”

Chuck Scoggins, Executive Director of the Center for Church Communicationh

Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Visitors is published by the Center for Church Communication, a nonprofit helping churches communicate better since 2004. Our flagship projects include the blog Church Marketing Sucks and our membership site Courageous Storytellers.

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