“Weekly” or “Weakly?”

Is your guest follow-up ministry weekly or weakly? No other evangelism ministry will have a greater impact on your church growth. 100% of your new converts come from those who visit your church. Only about 2-3% of your guests receive the Holy Ghost the first time they come. So, your growth depends on getting them to return. Return rate is directly affected by effective guest follow-up.

If a guest cared enough to get dressed up, drive several miles to visit your church, your church should care enough to do the same to visit them. Phone calls and letters are good, but nothing impacts like a face-to-face conversation. Try to visit them within seven days after their first visit.

Train your hostesses to greet all guest with a bright smile and a nice guest information packet. Then say, “Pastor Smith would love to meet you after service. Do you mind if we get your name?” The guest card should be on a clipboard and the hostess fills it out for them, asking them questions like address. “We would love to add you to our church mailing list for upcoming events. Can we get your address?”

Visits must be made by carefully trained follow-up workers. Time spent on the doorstep should be quick. You should come bearing gifts – a small metal tin filled with homemade cookies works great. The reason for the visit is to invite them back, so have a nice flyer about your next service. Many have had success offering a home Bible study. “Oh, by the way, have you heard about our home Bible study ministry? No? Let me tell you about it!” After a quick explanation, ask if they would be interested.

Another approach is to ask for prayer requests. “Our church has a powerful prayer ministry. Do you have a prayer request you would like us to pray about?” If they share a request, it is often good to have a quick word of prayer then and there.

Finally, thank them for their time, let them know you hope to see them Sunday, and depart. Nothing will impact them and encourage their return more than this quick visit. Add to that a letter from the pastor and a second visit a while later – try to visit four times a year – and you have a powerful, effective guest follow-up ministry. Be sure to put them on your church mailing list for future invitations.