In today’s episode, we discuss how your church can build the perfect visitor follow-up process.
As we consult pastors, we hear most often that a church’s assimilation process is a work in progress.
And typically, it isn’t a lack of effort. Many church leaders don’t know where to start.
Join us as we attempt to outline what we have found to be the perfect follow-up process for most churches.
We hope this conversation helps your church reach more people and grow.
Table of contents
- A Simple Four-Step Church Visitor Follow-Up Process
- Gather Their Information
- Contact Them Using Multiple Channels
- Host A Meet and Greet
- Host A Partnership Class
- More On Church Visitor Follow-Up
A Simple Four-Step Church Visitor Follow-Up Process
Gather Their Information
What Information Should We Gather?
Usually, try to keep this simple. The less you ask for, the more people will be willing to fill the form out. We would recommend Name, Address, Phone, and Email. Just the info you will use.
When Should We Gather It?
All the time. Don’t make the mistake of only gathering information at church. Ask people to give you their info on your website. Ask them to plan their visit, preregister their kids, or even offer a free download if they will provide you with their email address.
How Do We Get People To Give Us Their Info?
You need to incentivize people. No one will give you their info without an incentive. Give them a gift at church, like a gift card or some swag. Online, you can offer them a free download of parenting tips or a marriage health survey.
Contact Them Using Multiple Channels
Should I Email, Text, Call, or Send A Card?
Yes to all. We know it can be uncomfortable to reach out to people you may not know, but it is always better than the alternative. Don’t just send one or two messages. Aim to make 7 points of contact.
How Often Should I Reach Out?
Often. Try to message them the same day you receive their information. That is when they are most interested in your church. Three points of contact in the first week seem reasonable.
Who Should Reach Out?
While you can build a team around this, it is important that some of the contact comes from the lead pastor. Most pastors of larger churches have assistants to help them with this.
What Should We Ask Them To Do?
Ask them to come to the next meet and greet and give them a specific date and time. Also, ask them to go to the next service and tease what to expect.
Host A Meet and Greet
Who Should Attend?
All of the leaders in your church should attend. This will help your Meet and Greet hit critical mass. If these gatherings are too small, new people may start to feel awkward.
Should We Feed People?
Yes. Absolutely Yes. There is something about food that helps people let their guard down.
What Should We Talk About?
This shouldn’t be a long meeting. Each of your key leaders (no more than 5) should briefly share what they do and what they love about your church. This should also go both ways. Invite your visitors to share a little about their story too.
What Should We Invite Them To Next?
Invite them to take the next step and be a part of an upcoming partnership class.
Host A Partnership Class
When Should This Take Place?
While the meet and greet is best held right after a service, the partnership class is more flexible. A midweek night is okay, but for many churches, a time after service is best.
What Do They Need To Know?
They need to know what partnership means. We encourage the word partnership if your tradition allows as membership tends to intimidate people. Let them know what it means to be a fully committed part of your church. Talk about Service, Giving, Discipleship. Have people share testimonies about their experience as partners.
What Should Their Next Steps Be?
Give clear calls to action on how they can take a step to start serving, giving, and growing in their faith at your church. Have them fill out another form indicating their desired next step and follow up with them.