Beyond the First Visit

The Complete Guide to Connecting Guests to Your Church

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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.


"Dr. Gary L. McIntosh is a coach who knows the fundamentals of church life and outreach. Every sport requires excellence with athletic fundamentals. All great ball players can throw and catch. When it comes to congregational outreach the fundamentals are inviting, welcoming, and following up with guests. Beyond the First Visit is an essential training tool on how to implement these fundamentals."--Dr. John W. Ellas, Center for Church Growth

"Most churches evaluate themselves from the insider's perspective. 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 only have one chance to make a first impression!"--Eddie Gibbs, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Gary 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. This book will enable tens of thousands of churches to develop a game plan for reaching, welcoming, including, and developing new people in the local church's life."--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 and senior pastor, Word of Grace, Mesa, AZ

The Author

  1. Gary L. McIntosh

    Gary L. McIntosh

    Gary L. McIntosh (PhD, DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) is president of the Church Growth Network and distinguished affiliate professor of Christian ministry and leadership at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He is an internationally known...

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