What's the best practice for getting church visitors to fill out welcome cards?

Comments (7)

Network readers, I need your help! I can't figure out why people aren't completing visitor cards. I know we probably have 1-2 visitors per week, but we're seeing 1-2 cards per month. Here's what we've been doing:

   - There is a "Communication Card" in every bulletin, and bulletins are handed out at the door each week

   - There are pens at the seats

   - Most weeks, whoever is leading worship makes an announcement about the card. We mention that we are glad to welcome any visitors, and ask them to fill out a card so we can thank them for visiting. The card also has a place for comments/questions/prayer requests, so we mention that these cards are for anyone who would like to contact the church.

   - Sometimes bulletin announcements refer to the cards for other reasons like "for more information or to sign up, fill out a communication card."

 

We've been doing this for about 6 months, but getting very few cards. 

How does your church learn about visitors? Do you use cards or another method?

Is there something missing in our system that I can fix?

 

Thanks!!

Posted in: Hospitality; Q&A

Share This

Login or Register to post comments.

Comments

We have greeters, but also hosts serving weekly at our church. The hosts welcome visitors personally and encourage them to fill out cards. My experience, both as a home church member and as a visitor is that few persons will fill these out unless specifically requested by another person who greets them and visits with them as a visitor.

Thanks for the input Fred! Do you have a counter or info booth or something that makes it easy for people to fill out the card on the spot?

<p>We do have a pedestal station with our guestbook where they can also fill these out. The guest book helps with acknowledging visitors. We are not perfect, or even that good at these things, but these are my observations about things I think will work well if we use them.</p>

We too have tried welcome cards in the pews, but that did not seem to work. We are back to our tried and true method of our visitor register. An average of 2 - 4 visitors from the community come each week and so our Outreach Team along with our two Outreach elders keep an eye out for newcomers, greet them and lead them over to the information center where they are invited to sign our guest register. They then receive a church shopping bag (filled with info about the church, a dvd, devos for adults and a Manga Messiah for the kids etc.) Within the week of the visit they are sent a welcome letter. It just seems they do not mind signing a guest register, but somehow don't like to fill out cards. Still some visitors fall through the cracks.

Blessings on your passion for making the church a welcoming place.

Contributor

Kudos on the manga messiah. I have that one and think it's a great tool. It's also done by an actual mangaka (officialy liscened and trained manga artist in Japan). I like the welcome packet. Out of curiosity, how much return do you see on the welcome packet? Do people come back afterwards as a repeat visitor or do they not return?

Contributor

Posting twice for some reason...

When I did evangelism in more urban areas, I noticed that many didn't always fill out the welcome cards. At one place, we doubled them as a prayer request card and had them place them in the offering plate. We had our congregational praye after the offering and prayed for those who gave permission to pray. This raised the number of those submitting but they were more members than visitors.

Another place had the cards to be filled out but had no one really set aside to follow up on them. I too noticed that people were more apt at filling out the card when asked personally by me.

One other item of note, being an experinced church shopper (while in college and seminary I tried finding a church to regularly attend) I hated filling out the forms because I'd sometimes be bombarded with mail, phone calls, and people visiting me after one or two visits. And when I didn't come then next time, they would call or visit and want to know why I didnt show up on Sunday. It drove me away more than it made me want to come. After a while, I stopped filling out anything.

 

Posting twice for some reason too - it's cooler inside in the office than outside (37 degrees C)

On the contrary here, when visitors get a call or a letter within a week or two, they are very surprised and pleased. They love the church shopping bag.  Many visitors come back because we have paid attention to them. Of course, it's all a God thing. Blessings! 

© 2014 Christian Reformed Church in North America. All rights reserved.
For website questions or corrections, use the feedback tab at right or contact us.