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First Impressions

The communication theory Estimated Relationship Potential shows us that first impressions are powerful.

First Impressions
Image: Chuttersnap / Unsplash

Editor’s Note: We asked Jeffrey Arthurs to record a video intro for his article. Check it out to see how his dog’s reactions to new people relates to our first impressions on those who enter our churches.

When we begin to re-open churches, we’ll have a fresh opportunity to make a first impression. Maybe some visitors who heard you online will step through the front door. They enter with a bit of apprehension. Half-submerged questions flit through the mind—Where should I go? What are these people like? Is this worth my time and effort? The greeters greet the visitor, and things seem to be going okay. They didn’t ask for money . . . yet. The visitor finds a seat near the back. Some nice music is playing, and then the service starts. The pastor stands to welcome everyone. Yeah! That’s the guy I saw on video. He looks pretty normal. Maybe a little tired or grumpy or something. The visitor wonders if he’s like that all of the time. After a while the ...

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