Pastors often ask me “Michael, what’s the first system I should work on in my church?” Without hesitation, I answer “Guest Follow-Up.”

Following up with first-time guests is HUGE for any church. Here are four practical ideas.

  1. Use automated email.  One follow up email is great, but did you know you could schedule 3-4 automated emails to be delivered a month or two after their initial visit? If you do this right, it’s really effective.
  1. Document your process. You need systems whenever there are repeatable actions in the church. So writing out your follow up process in a flowchart. Creating something like this is a great project for a team meeting, too. We’ve got coaching and a template for you here.
  1.  Mix it up. If your connection process isn’t working well, try mixing it up. Stop calling guests and try hand written thank you notes. Or try a follow-up text message. Ditch the form letter for something more personal. By all means, stop doing things that aren’t working anymore.
  1.  Point people to one step.  Every part of your process should point to one simple and clear action step. There are probably a lot of great ways to get connected in your church, but you need a unified message for guests.  Whether it’s a newcomers lunch or a 101 class or a small group, get really clear about the FIRST thing new people should do.

Guests are going to visit your church this year. What’s your strategy for helping them connect, get involved and follow Jesus?

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