How Your Church Should Follow Up with Easter Guests - Vital Signs
By Emery HurdApril 6, 2017
Easter is just around the corner, and by now you have already set up your advertising campaign, special music, and the dozens of other things that make Easter a successful event for your church. However, it is possible that you have not spent much time planning the MOST important part of your church’s Easter experience …the follow up!
No matter how attractive your church may be on Easter, or any other Sunday, visitors (by the way, visitors today prefer “guests”) are not going to come back in the weeks ahead without a plan to get them back. Here are some key components to consider. A few require planning, but most you can implement rather quickly.
Do you have a way of getting guest information? Do you have at least THREE ways to get that information? You need multiple pathways because not everyone will use the one way you suggest. You need a way that guests can let you know their contact info that is not pushy or intimidating. A bulletin insert they can put in the offering, friendly greeters who introduce themselves to guests and ask for the info as they hand them a small gift, friends of guests who know where they live, and having folks at the rear after the service who ask if they completed the from as they exit all work to getting that valuable contact information. This is much easier if guests aren’t singled out by having EVERYONE EVERY WEEK complete their information, Guests see this happening, and just do what everyone else is doing!
The Week after Easter
This is where you have the “Golden 48” Guests who give you information expect contact within 48 hours. After that, the returns significantly diminish. Do you send a letter, send an email, write a text, make a phone call? The answer is YES. Different people use different preferred methods of communication, they may list five ways to find them, but they probably only regularly monitor one or two. Since you don’t know which option is best, use them all! Remember, you may be saying we were happy to see you five times in five different ways, but they will probably only read one. To put extra value on this, make it form someone other than the pastor. Pastoral contacts are good, but contacts of other lay people that they can build a relationship with in the future is even better.
Two to Five Weeks after Easter
A significant number of your guests will not respond to your first “touch.” Typically, they need three to five contacts before they connect with your church. This does not have to be elaborate, but they do need to communications that allow them to connect with your church. They can be a series of brochures that describe your various ministries, one each week for several weeks. They can be texted invitations to special church events in the coming month. They can be contacts by leaders of small groups, youth programs, ministries, or other activities that they might be interested in joining. The idea is to not give up on a guest until you have contacted them at least five times about the church. I know, some life-long church goers would find this “pushy,” but today’s people have so much information coming at them that it takes persistence and repetition to get above the background noise of advertising. There are many online church programs and free phone apps that help you set this up, just search “guest follow up.” A thought out guest follow-up program helps make sure that first time guests become friends, followers of Jesus, and active church members!
Mobilize wants to help your church become more healthy! If you have a question about church health, growth, and vitality, send it to me at my email below. We want this space to inform and encourage church health, so let us know how we can help! If your church wants help getting healthier, or is interested in the Natural Church Development process we use to assess and promote church health, send us an email here, or call the Brethren Church National Office: 1-419-289-1708
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