Once upon a time, the worship center was the only church building space that counted. That was where everyone expected you would focus your attention, in terms of design, electronics, etc., because you could assume that if visitors showed up and liked the worship and the preaching, they would stick around for Sunday School and other activities.
That’s not the way things are today. Converting first time attenders into full-fledged attenders, who are active in your church beyond Sunday morning worship, is not easy. This is why the foyer is a key element for any church building or remodeling plan.
What Studies Show
Research give us some clues about how to keep those visitors around and convert them into active participants in the rest of your weekly activities. It indicates that people need to make 12 new friends during the first six months that they attend a new church. If they don’t make that many friends, 80% of them will eventually stop attending. This means that any church remodeling or new building plan has to include spaces where people can talk with each other, get to know one another—become friends.
What the Foyer Does
One of the best places for doing this is the foyer. Unlike the worship space, which is designed to focus everyone’s attention up front, on the worship team, a good church foyer is designed to help people focus on each other, slow down, and enjoy some conversation.
So how does a foyer, or welcome center, do that? A café is helpful, because when you grab a cup of coffee, you want to sit somewhere to enjoy it. Your café tables, and seating groups with inviting, comfortable chairs, will provide a way for regular attenders to naturally suggest that first time attenders join them for something to drink before departing.
When you install glass at the front of the foyer and put those nice seating areas nearby, a first time attender can see into the church building and feel more comfortable knowing what they will find inside. They can also easily see all those people being friends with each other and think, “I want that, too.” Plus, the glass lets in lots of natural light to make the space feel bright and welcoming.
What Your Church Building Needs
These are just some of the reasons that your church remodeling or new building project needs to focus serious attention on the foyer. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money; colored concrete, done right, is a perfectly acceptable floor for your welcome center. The point is to choose a color that’s going to match your church’s vision for drawing in visitors and encourages them to stick around and make some friends.
To learn more about the importance of the foyer and other key areas in your church, sign up today for our free i3 webinar series.