The Come Back Effect

Discover the secret to helping first-time guests return again and again.

The Come Back Effect by Jason Young and Jonathan Malm

The key to growth as a church, youth ministry, or a business is getting first-time guests to come back. And as any good manager knows, the key to getting guests to come back is how guests feel when they're there. It's about hospitality. No matter how much effort and time we spend on excellence—stirring worship time, inspiring sermons, good coffee in the foyer—what our guests really want when they come to our churches is to feel welcome, comfortable, and understood.

Written by a church consultant and a hospitality expert, The Come Back Effect shows church, ministry, and even business leaders the secret to helping a first-time guest return again and again. Through an engaging, story-driven approach, they explain how service and hospitality are two different things, show how Jesus practiced hospitality, and invite leaders to develop and implement changes that lead to repeat visits and sustained growth.


“Guests want to come back [to church] because of what they experience during their first visit. How to make that happen is what Jason and Jonathan share in this book.”

From the foreword by Andy Stanley




“Truett Cathy taught me, ‘Hospitality is cheap, but it pays great dividends.’ Creating a culture of hospitality is vital for our restaurants and any team that wants to fulfill its purpose. Jason and Jonathan provide a powerful guide to help you create a culture! My hope is this book impacts you at a heart level, where it affects how you serve not only on Sunday but every day!”

Chris Darley, owner/operator, Chick-fil-A, Atlanta, Georgia


“Jason Young and Jonathan Malm have written an important book for anyone hoping to grow their church, expand their ministry, or strengthen their business.”

Craig Groeschel, pastor, Life.Church; author,
Divine Direction: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life


“Jason and Jonathan provide leaders with a great framework for creating amazing experiences for first-time and returning guests!”

Tyler Reagin, president, Catalyst

“This is a book you need to read.”

Horst Schulze, founder and CEO, Capella Hotels; founder, Ritz-Carlton Hotels


“This is one of the best books I've read when it comes to guest experience and hospitality at a church.”

Rommel Manio, church experience pastor, Saddleback Church


“Service comes from a manual; hospitality comes from the heart. In The Come Back Effect, Jason and Jonathan unpack how gracious hospitality and generosity of spirit will lead to a powerful, lasting relationship between people and your church or business.”

Kirk Kinsell, former president and CEO, Loews Hotels; former president, Intercontinental Hotels Group (Americas)


“Every single person in ministry needs to read The Come Back Effect. Whether your ministry is already bringing people back in droves or you have a long way to go, this book will help you go farther faster. Read this book—and watch your ministry go to the next level.”

Luis Martinez-Soto, volunteer development director, Lakewood Church

“Jason and Jonathan give us the tools to create loving, welcoming environments that draw people to the love of Christ.”

Cheryl Bachelder, former CEO, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc.; author, Dare to Serve


“It’s easy to be become disconnected from what it’s like to be a guest. Jason and Jonathan have written an inspiring and helpful book that puts us back in the shoes of our guests and reminds us what matters most. This book is not just for your greeters; it will empower your entire team to create a dynamic weekend experience at church. I will be referencing and recommending this book often.”

Brandon Stewart, director, Team Church Conference


“The environment we create for our guests, team members, and regular attendees speaks to the focus and heart of the organization. Jason and Jonathan clearly articulate, in a practical manner, a framework that ensures everything communicates a loving embrace for all who open the doors.”

Paul Bowers, president and CEO, Georgia Power