Reaching out and building relationships is a great way to turn visitors into regular attenders.
When new visitors (or holiday visitors) attend your church, you have an opportunity to build a relationship with them. The good news is that it’s actually fairly simple to have an impact on someone, and show them you care. We will cover three simple steps you can take next Sunday to start your relationship off on the right foot!
1. Capture Visitor’s Information at the Point of Greeting
Many churches have a greeter ministry that offers information, a friendly handshake, and a warm welcome to members and visitors alike. Imagine if instead of that interaction being a one-time welcome, it turned into a valuable opportunity to start a relationship between your church and the guest.
Offer your Greeters the ability to collect simple information like a name and email address (and more if your guest is willing and time allows). This will allow you to collect information from those who may not be inclined to fill out their info on paper. And you’ll also help your Greeters to establish a deeper connection with people. Instead of just handing them a bulletin, or giving a handshake, they’ll now introduce themselves and talk to each new guest while they record their information.
With Servant Keeper’s Attendance App, greeters can add new visitors to your Servant Keeper database on the fly. Then use this information to follow up with them later.
Download Your Copy of Vanco’s Visitor Survey Template
2. Follow Up with Visitors Quickly, and ask for Their Feedback.
Don’t let your visitors fall through the cracks. Use the contact info you received from them to follow up with them within the week of attending. Assign a task to your pastor to give them a quick phone call, or send out an email to a smart group of all your visitors from your pastor. Make sure you’re not only communicating that you were glad they came, but also that you’d love to hear from them about what they thought of their first visit. Quickly email (or mail) a survey to guests and ask them to share their experience.
3. Follow Up (Wisely) with Visitors who Stop Attending
Imagine that you’ve greeted a visitor their first time at your church. You followed up, and they said their experience was positive. You’ve started building a relationship. And then, after a month or so, they stop coming.
The first thing you may want to check is their survey response. Maybe they had listed an issue that caused anxiety (no place to park, for example). Evaluate whether or not this was addressed. Then consider reaching out.
There is no specific 3-step process for how to reach out when a visitor stops attending, because it’s got to be real and relational, and can vary from case to case. For example, if the visitor was searching around for a new church, and started attending somewhere else, you don’t want to make them feel guilty for no longer joining you. Likewise, reaching out after they’ve only missed once or twice may cause them to feel uncomfortable, as though they aren’t allowed to ever miss a service.
” There is no specific 3-step process for how to reach out when a visitor stops attending, because it’s got to be real and relational, and can vary from case to case.”
So use wisdom based off how long they had been attending, and what you know from the relationships you and your body started to build, to determine when and how to reach out. You may even be able to check notes taken by your pastor or greeters to help determine if this is someone who would need follow up (were they only in the area temporarily, were they considering being a member and now they’ve left, or was a negative experience they shared on their survey never addressed, as a few examples).