Every Friday this fall, I’m doing a series titled “First Impressions Fridays.”  These posts are specifically designed for the First Impressions Teams at all of our campuses, but hey, read it anyway.  You might learn something useful.

This is the ballad of Joe & Fantasia, a couple of first time guests to the Summit.  Joe & Fantasia are totally fictional, which is why I felt the liberty to whip out the moniker of a former American Idol all star.  You just don’t get a chance like this too often.  Here’s what Joe & Fantasia’s fictional visit to the Summit looked like on one recent Sunday…

Fantasia was invited to the Summit by a church member who often stopped by Caribou Coffee, where she works as a barista.  She had invited Fantasia to church several times, and even went so far as to hand her an inviter card.  The card was well-designed, had all the right information, and made Fantasia realize that this church might be worth a try.

Joe saw the inviter card sitting by the phone one Friday night.  He surfed over to the Summit’s website at the suggestion of the web address on the card.  Cool site.  Good info.  “Not what I had in mind about church.”

On that Saturday, Joe suggested that they try the Summit out.  Fantasia was pretty excited that Joe was taking the lead, so she started getting the kids’ clothes prepped and ready to go.

On Sunday morning they pulled up to the Summit.  A team of guys in orange vests were on hand to help them park right up front.  Five star treatment for first time guests?  Cool.

The family walked over to the first time guest tent.  “A free coffee mug?  I wasn’t expecting this.  You’re going to walk me around and show me where to go, rather than pointing me and taking a chance that I’ll get lost?  Awesome.”

One of our volunteers walked Joe, Fantasia, and the kids down to Summit Kids.  They were impressed with the secure check in procedure, impressed with the bright colors along the hallways, impressed with the attention that the teachers paid to their children.

Into the lobby.  Joe made a beeline to the coffee bar.  “Dunkin’ Donuts?  These people didn’t cheap out.  I can carry it in with me?  Nice.”

As the service began, they noticed the plush, extra-wide seats.  They were amazed by the musical skill of the worship team.  The band kicked butt.  Pastor J.D. started to speak, and the message was actually interesting and engaging.  As he shared the gospel at the end, Joe felt something…odd.  Could this religion stuff be getting to him?  Pastor J.D. asked everyone who was making a decision to follow Christ to fill out the tear off card in the worship guide.  No one was more surprised than Joe that he wanted to check that box.

…but he couldn’t.

Because he didn’t have an ink pen.

Oh, there were pens available.  All of the door greeters had pens.  And although they handed Joe a worship guide with that little tear off card, they forgot to give him a pen.  Joe’s decision passed, it grew cold, and by Tuesday he had mostly forgotten about it.

Details?  They matter.  What are you overlooking in your ministry to our guests?