“Most of our follow-up workers visit in early evening. Around seven o’clock seems to work best. We never make a visit past 9:00 PM. We also have good results on Saturday morning around 11:00 AM and on Sunday afternoon.” A hand shot up from the front row. “What do you normally say when they open the door? Can you give us an example?” “Good question! When they come to the door you should first introduce yourself. For example you might say, ‘Hi! I’m Mike Smith from First Pentecostal Church. You visited with us last Sunday morning and we wanted to stop by and drop off a small gift and also let you know how much we appreciated you visiting us. We wanted to make sure you enjoyed your visit and to answer any questions you might have about the church or its ministries.’
By Tim Massengale
Pastor Mark North smiled at the group of saints assembled before him.
“Thanks for coming tonight. I asked you here so we could hopefully become more effective in our follow-up visitation. Most of you have been making at least one follow-up visit per week for several months now. Our results have been good — but I feel they could be better. So I have asked our good friend and neighboring pastor, Brother Vernon Baker, to speak to us tonight on the topic, ‘Making An Effective Follow-up Visit.’ You all know and love Brother Baker and he needs no additional introduction, so I will now turn the podium to him.”
Brother Baker stepped to the podium.
“Thank you, Pastor North. It’s an honor to speak to you fine folks. I love and respect your pastor. He’s a great man of God and you have a wonderful church. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about a subject that I feel very passionate about.
“I am not going to spend much time on the importance of guest follow-up. Since you are already involved in this ministry, you know how important it is. Remember, 100% of our new converts come from our church guests. Since only about 5% of our guests receive the Holy Ghost the first time they attend, that means if the other 95% are going to receive the Holy Ghost, we have to get them back again. Guest follow-up visitation is by far the most effective method of doing this.
“There are four parts to the guest follow-up ministry at my church. We are very diligent to get a guest card on every visitor. Once we have that card, we do four things: (1) We telephone them within 24 hours and thank them for visiting us. (2) I, as pastor, send them a letter which will arrive at their home within 2-3 days after their visit. (3) We then visit them at their home within seven days of their visit. This visit will be the topic of my comments tonight. (4) And finally, we place their information into our computer so we can print mailing labels. Six to eight times a year we send out special invitations to all past guests, inviting them to various upcoming church events.
“We have found that by using this follow-up procedure, we have a high percentage of return visits by our guests. If we can get them to attend church several times, they often end up in the altar seeking for the Holy Ghost. Bottom line is this: If the guest cared enough to get cleaned up, dressed up, and drive several miles to visit us, we should care enough to get cleaned up, dressed up, and drive several miles to visit them. Let’s extend to them the same courtesy they gave to us.”
The Follow-up Packet and Gift
Brother Baker held up a large manila envelope. Printed on the front were the words Guest Follow-up Assignment in bold letters.
“A follow-up visit begins when you receive a follow-up packet. These have been prepared for you by the Guest Follow-up Director. One or more of these packets — one packet for each home you will visit — will be handed to you on Bible study night. Inside the packet you should find the following: (1) A follow-up assignment card that contains important information about the guest. (2) A Mapquest print-out showing the exact location of the home. (3) A flyer promoting an upcoming church activity to which we will invite them. (4) A home Bible study brochure explaining what the HBS ministry is all about. (5) A HBS prospect slip. (6) A prayer request card. (7) And finally, a church card. Some also like to put in a tract on healing as well.