Do you use connection cards in your service?

They can be a great way for guests (and regulars) to communicate with the church or ask for more information.

But most churches struggle to get new people to fill out these cards.  That means you don't really know if they were there.  And that means you can't intentionally follow up with them to get them connected to the life of the church.

Connection cards are a great idea, but if people don't turn them in, the whole process won't work.

Here are two ways you could get more people to turn in those connection cards.

#1 – Offer a small gift when they are turned in.

One way to encourage people to do something is to offer an incentive.  That general principle applies to connection cards.

When you ask guests to fill them out, offer to give them something in return. Here are some gift ideas:

  • A free t-shirt (Venue Church in Chattanooga gives a free T-shirt to guests and to people who bring guests…GREAT IDEA!
  • A gift bag with some candy, a message CD and some flyers about the church. (this is what we used to do)
  • A custom coffee mug (you could even include some sample coffee or a gift card)
  • Offer to make a small donation to a local non-profit for every card that's turned in.

Our friends at Church Swag can help you design a really cool gift box.

When you talk about the connection card,  let people know they could drop it in the offering buckets or take it to a welcome center. If they choose to take it to a welcome center,  give them a gift.

We used mailing tubes.  We ordered the shipping tubes from (we used 3″ x 12″ but you can experiment with different sizes) and printed the label on a full-page label sheet purchased from an office store.

We’d always include some information about the church. Sometimes, we would include some candy or treats. Usually, there would be a t-shirt or a sports bottle. All in all, it cost between $3-8 to produce this gift – well worth it considering we had a solid follow-up process in place.

We'd hold up the gift so they could see it, and I'm convinced the intrigue helped us connect with more people.

#2 – Ask EVERYONE to fill out the card

Another way to encourage guests to fill out and turn in the connection card is to ask everyone to do it.

Pastor Robbie York, one of our Church Fuel members, recently shared this in our private member's forum.

We've recently started asking everyone to fill out a card every week. We've made it clear that regulars only need to fill in their names. Our worship leader actually came up with the idea and I didn't like it at first…but it's becoming normal for everyone to just quickly fill one out. Guests see everyone else doing it and we're receiving cards from just about every guest each week now.

This is positive peer pressure.

By making it normal for everyone to fill out the card, you take some of the weirdness out of the equation.

Take the Next Step

If you’re looking for more help creating and implementing a first-time guest follow up process, join the Church Fuel community.

We are a community of pastors who value practical coaching and resources and encourage one another to grow healthy. Reaching new guests and helping them get involved in the life of the church is a regular topic among our members.

Every month, we release a brand-new master class, covering topics like volunteers, connecting people, preaching, finances, and more.

Members also get access to a resource library full of documents, spreadsheets and templates, including lots of follow up resources. There are members-only office hours and round tables where you can get personal help when needed.

There’s a money back guarantee, so you can check it out without pressure. Learn more here.