Research has confirmed what most of us know--first impressions make a lasting difference.
A first impression is made within about 6-7 seconds. We have first impressions of our spouses, churches, the DS, friends, etc. Likewise, they have first impressions of us. First impressions count and cannot be easily undone.
So what can we do to make a good first impression? Here again, no big surprises.
2. Be interested in others.
3. Walk with confidence.
4. Pray for God to accompany you.
5. Wear something comfortable.
Personally, when I am nervous my cold hands betray me. I've tried rubbing them, running them under warm water, relaxation exercises, but usually nothing works. I just pray that people will not notice my handshake and be won over by something else.
But the church also gives a first impression, which can be a valuable tool for you and your ministry. Because you see what visitors see. The first Sunday at our current church is a case in point. I was by myself, didn't really know which door to enter, had no idea where to go for Sunday School, and there was no one to ask. I figured that if the church didn't welcome me, and they knew I was coming, they probably weren't good a welcoming others. Needless to say, I mentioned that to my spouse and the church heard the issue and fixed the problem.
As some of us begin new appointments this Sunday, please know that the rest of us will pray that all goes well for you and that there are a multitude of great first impressions.