Several years ago, when I was involved in active church consultations, I assembled data on what I called GFCs, genuinely friendly churches. I set certain parameters for GFCs; then I attempted to measure those churches guest return rates. A guest return rate is simply the percentage of guests who will return to the church for at least a second visit.
Here is the simple but profound difference I found in GFCs and all other churches: A genuinely friendly church has a guest return rate six times greater than other churches.
Did you get that? If a church meets the guidelines to be a GFC, the probability of a guest returning is six times higher than all other churches! Sadly, only about one of twenty churches meets the criteria necessary to be a GFC.
When I was an active consultant, I had 10 criteria, and the church had to meet at least eight of those criteria to be a GFC. I have since expanded the list to 14, and require churches to meet 11 of the 14 to be a GFC. Here are the 14 characteristics of genuinely friendly churches: