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Beyond the First Visit: The Complete Guide to Connecting Guests to Your Church Paperback – September 1, 2006
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From the Back Cover
Does your church put out the "Welcome" mat or the "Do not disturb" sign?
We all like to think that our church is the friendliest one in town. But do visitors see it that way? Church consultant Gary L. McIntosh invites you to take another look at your church through the eyes of a first-time guest to identify the things that might be holding them back from a second visit.
This very practical book offers sound advice on assessing and improving the ways in which your church attracts people, welcomes them, does follow-up, and brings them into the church family. More than simply offering mere techniques, it gives suggestions for making a welcoming attitude part of the very fabric of your church.
"McIntosh is a coach who knows the fundamentals of church life and outreach. Beyond the First Visit is an essential training tool on how to implement these fundamentals."--Dr. John W. Ellas, Center for Church Growth
"Gary McIntosh has learned, as a church consultant with years of experience, to see the churches he visits from the first-time guest's point of view. We have only one chance to make a first impression!"--Eddie Gibbs, Fuller Theological Seminary
"McIntosh's new book fills a long-standing void. No one (to my knowledge) since Lyle Schaller's Assimilating New Members, published in 1978, has addressed the challenge of effectively including new people in the church's life with this much background, savvy, and precision."--George G. Hunter III, distinguished professor of Evangelism and Church Growth, Asbury Theological Seminary
"This book is great! It's filled with practical ideas to tackle every local church's greatest challenge: how to connect and disciple new people. We have already begun to implement many of Gary's excellent ideas."--Dr. Gary D. Kinnaman, author, senior pastor, Word of Grace, Mesa, AZ
Gary L. McIntosh is professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He is a former pastor with many years as a church consultant. He is the author or coauthor of thirteen books on church leadership and growth, and the editor of Church Growth Network and Journal of the American Society of Church Growth.
About the Author
Gary L. McIntosh (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is president of the Church Growth Network and professor of Christian ministry and leadership at Talbot School of Theology. He leads seminars and has written twenty books, including Biblical Church Growth
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GOOD- It is comprehensive in scope, full of helpful ideas and information, and forces you to ask very helpful questions in a systematic fashion. It will fill your head with ideas and help you see how one set of ideas leads to another.
NEEDS WORK- Internet, email, SMS, Facebook- all these sorts of new technologies are largely untapped in McIntosh's practical examples. If you are familiar with these, McIntosh's framework will still likely give you many good ideas that you can adapt to these technologies. It is also not as aware as we need to be of not only the "Emergent Church", but even more of the general mindset of postmodern adults and how their attitudes would lead you to modify some of what McIntosh presents.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS- Be aware of your theological convictions and framework - e.g. on evangelism, nature of man, the Sovereignty of God, nature of the church, etc. - before you get too far into this book. This is not a theological work; it is a practical one. But all practice is controlled by theology, and if you are not thoughtful in reading this book, you can end up with a very man-centered, self-reliant approach to "assimilation" and church growth.
The book makes you look at your church with new lenses.