Faithful Follow-up and Guest Treatment

Faithful Follow-up and Guest Treatment
Susy Anderson

Proactively following up with newcomers can transform an introduction into a relationship. Carmel Life Church in Matthews, N.C., developed a well-established system to make sure guests don’t go unnoticed.

1. Enlist a coordinator. Ask one person to coordinate a team of volunteers focused on follow-up and responsible for everything from creating contact forms for guests to complete to buying items for welcome baskets and assigning follow-up phone calls.

2. Begin at hello. When guests come through the door, greet them immediately, ask their names and be sure to memorize them to introduce them to others.

3. Learn their needs. Ask guests for their prayer requests or other needs. Then, when volunteers call or e-mail during the week, they can share that they’ve been praying for specific requests.

4. Invite them back. Using their first names, Invite guests to come back. Let them know you hope to see them again.

5. Make contact. Within the following week, ask volunteers to drop off a welcome basket of goodies and church information.

Guest Treatment at LifePoint Church

Multiple initiatives help LifePoint Church in Tampa, Fla., make lasting connections—from closely tracking numbers to identify trends in attendance at worship services and small groups to focusing the church’s energy on weekend gatherings, children’s and youth ministries and LifeGroups. Here, Senior Pastor Brad White answers the question What other changes have you made to improve retention?

“We really try to listen to people. We heard some negative feedback from guests saying they didn’t know where to go for the service, the nursery, etc. Even though we have signage everywhere, people still need that personal touch. So we created a separate entrance for guests, where a host can greet them, take them where they want to go, find them a seat at the service. It has already made a huge difference in second- and third-time visits. And it has become a meeting point for people when they invite friends to church. Guests don’t get lost in the sea of people coming in.

We also got wind that guests were frustrated by how much time it took to pick up their children after the service. So we created multiple points where they can come get their kids, and we offer them fresh coffee and cookies while they’re waiting in line.

Six months ago, we introduced NEXT, what we call an ‘after-party’ where guests can come after the service to meet the staff and learn more about the church. We decorate the room to look like a cool coffeehouse, and we give away Starbucks and other gift cards. I meet guests personally and give them a two-minute vision cast. We also ask them to fill out a connection card while they’re there. What we’ve found is that a lot of guests won’t complete the information card during the service, but they will do it at NEXT. And we give them opportunities to sign up for LifeGroups and to serve on our ministry teams.”

The above article, “ Faithful Follow-Up and Guest Treatment” is written by Susy Anderson. The article was excerpted from: web site. June 2012.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.