Church Visitor Follow-Up Strategy for New Members
Growing a church congregation is difficult. With so many people busy building their careers and distracted by weekend entertainment, regularly going to church might not be their biggest priority.
However, there are a few things that churches can do to retain new members and encourage them to become regular attendees. This ensures that your congregation grows in numbers, expanding the kingdom of God with every person visiting the church.
Let's discuss some strategies.
How to Follow Up With New Church Members
The best way to follow up with new members is to have a strategy before they even visit the church. By having a plan in place, you can ensure that each visitor is given the attention they need and no one falls through the cracks.
Here are six steps to creating a church visitor follow-up strategy:
- Assign a member of the church staff to be responsible for following up with new members. This person should be friendly, outgoing, and make everyone feel welcome.
- Have a welcome packet ready for each new member. This packet should include information about the church, its mission and values, and the contact information of the staff member.
- Get contact information from each new member, including their email address and phone number. You can also have new visitors indicate the best way to contact them.
- Send a follow-up email or text within 24 hours of the new member's visit. This message should be friendly and brief, thank them for coming, and invite them back.
- Schedule a personal phone call with each new member within a week of their visit. This is an opportunity to get to know them better and answer any questions they may have about the church.
- Plan a special event or activity for new members who have regularly attended for a few weeks. This can be as simple as a coffee hour or potluck dinner – anything to get them more involved.
Stay in touch, create a personal connection, and build a lasting relationship that will encourage them to return. By following these steps, every new member will feel valued and welcomed into the church community.
What to Avoid When Following Up
To ensure they feel comfortable and valued, there are a few things to avoid when following up with new members. Remember, your goal is to build relationships with them, so they naturally want to grow in Christ with fellow believers of the church. They may even start to serve in church ministries once they see their worth to your church community.
Here are a few tips when following up with new church members:
- Don't be too pushy. Extend an invitation and let them decide whether they want to participate.
- Don't make assumptions about what they are looking for in a church. Each person is on their own unique spiritual journey so they may have different needs and expectations. Ask questions and listen to their answers. Respect their situation, and, if necessary, help them find another church home that meets their needs.
- Don't forget about new visitors after they become regular members. It's essential to stay in touch and continue building that personal connection. They should feel like they are part of the church family, not just another number in the congregation.
By following these tips, you can create a church visitor follow-up strategy that is both effective and respectful. New members will then feel like they are an essential part of the herd, making them more likely to stick around and become loyal members of the congregation.
Best Ways to Get in Contact When Following Up
There are several ways to stay in touch and follow up with new members, but some methods are more effective than others. The best way to keep in contact is to use a combination of techniques to reach them where they are most active and comfortable. Of course, you can always try out different combinations and tweak your strategy according to what works best.
Here are some ideas for staying in touch with new members:
- Call them: A personal phone call is always a nice touch – it shows that you care and are interested in getting to know them better. Many people are also more open and communicative over calls compared to written forms of communication. Just make sure not to be too pushy or sales-y.
- Send them a text message: SMS is an excellent way to send a reminder or update, especially if the new member has indicated that they prefer text over email or calls. That said, don’t bombard them with too many messages or long texts!
- Send them an email: Email is perfect for sharing longer content. Just be sure to keep the message valuable and informative – make it worth their time. Hyperlink to other sources (such as your website) to keep it short without compromising on value.
- Post regular content on social media: Social media can be a great way to keep members updated on the church, but it should not be the only method you use. Instead, use social media to supplement other methods of communication. Establish a content calendar to ensure consistent, quality posts.
Combining these methods allows you to reach new members where they are most comfortable and to maintain open communication with them. The more you stay in touch with them, the more they'll stay with your church.
Church Visitor Follow-Up SMS Template
Using SMS to communicate with new members is convenient, personal, and effective. After all, most people nowadays are always on their phones, so new members will likely see your message right away.
SMS allows you to build two-way communication with new members who don’t have the opportunity to connect with your church directly. Once you open that channel with them, they'll undoubtedly feel closer to the church and will likely return for more.
Here are a few SMS templates that your church can use:
- Hi [Name]! I just wanted to say thanks for coming to church last Sunday. I hope you had a great time with us, and we enjoyed having you with us. As always, our service begins at 10 am this Sunday. Hope to see you again!
- Hello [Name]! I hope you're having a great day. I just wanted to let you know that we have a special gift for new members who have been attending regularly for a few weeks. If you're interested, I can fill you in with more details. We'd love to see more of you!
- Hi there! My name is [Name], and I'm part of the welcome team at church. We are delighted that you decided to join our service last week, and we hope to see you again this Sunday. If you have any questions about our church, please feel free to email me back, and we'll do our best to answer your questions. See you again soon!
Church Visitor Follow-Up Email Template
Email is a great way to stay in touch with new members and update them on church events. Compared to SMS texts, emails can also contain longer content and hyperlinks to your church's website or Facebook page, so new members can dive deeper into your church.
Here's a church visitor follow-up email template that you can easily customize:
Subject: A warm welcome from our church family!
We want to extend a warm welcome and thank you for attending our Sunday worship service. It was great having you with us, and we hope you also had a pleasant experience.
At [Church name], we aim to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all who enter through our doors. We hope that you’ll find a home here with us and become an active part of our church family, where we all grow in our spiritual journey for the glory of God.
We also have a few upcoming events that we'd like to invite you to. For example, we will have a potluck lunch this Sunday after the service at 1 pm. This could be an excellent opportunity for you to get to know us better and vice versa!
We also have several fellowships on Friday nights, including our youth fellowship Teens for Truth, young couples fellowship Christ at Our Center, and a senior citizen's fellowship called Evergreen Evangelists. All of these fellowships start at 8 pm. You're more than welcome to join any of these groups!
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch. My inbox is always open for us to discuss anything. We will do our best to address your issues for us to grow as one body of Christ.
Once again, welcome to our church family! We hope to see you around soon.
[Church name and pastor's name]
By using an email template like this one, you're conveying the message that your church cares about its members and wants to get to know them on a personal level. You're also inviting them to become more involved in the church, which is essential for retention.
Retaining Church Members to Grow Your Congregation
Church members are the backbone of any congregation, so it's crucial to retain visitors, encourage them to become regular attendees, and grow the size of your church. As it says in Hebrews 10:24-25, “[Let] us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Use the tips and templates above to follow up with new members, build relationships, and create a community where everybody knows they belong to God. Gather the people together, for the Messiah is returning soon!