'Mystery guests' rank churches based on first-time visits

First-time visitors to churches across the country say churches with 300 to 500 attendees perform the best when it comes to first impressions, according to a recent report. Their experiences at mega churches and smaller-sized congregations weren't quite as enjoyable.

Faith Perceptions partnered with church leaders and sent out "mystery guests" to rate their first-time visits at churches varying in size from dozens of members to over a thousand. They found that "large" churches – with average weekly attendance of 300-500 – ranked "best in category" in nine out of 15 areas.

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