What Is the Best Way to Follow Up With Church Visitors?
February 13, 2010
Updated May 14, 2019
6 comments 874 views
Our church is looking at better ways to follow up with visitors. Currently, we have a guestbook for people to sign—and this is the only way that we have of recording names/addresses etc. of visitors. We do a pretty good job of being friendly to guests, and most visitors have said that they feel welcomed. But, I would like to be able to follow up with people later in the week (by personal letter, invitations to church activities, etc.).
One thing we are considering is Friendship Registers—those folders in pews that people (including church members) sign during the offering. Has this worked for you? Have you had success with this? Or, do you have other ideas? I'd appreciate your feedback!
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We have used friendship registers at church for years and find them very valuable. A couple members take turns each week with entering attendance on the spreadsheet. In addition to guest information, we track member attendance also because we are a larger church. The elders then have information if one of the members hasn't attended in the last month.
Another church I know has a group of members come in every Monday morning and send out the guest letters after tracking attendance. Others have a team for visiting with fresh homemade cookies.
Our church uses a tear off in the church bulletin. Guests are invited to place the completed form in the collection plate. A letter is mailed out the same week and staff will then contact those individuals that are looking for more information.
The process has been successful and we have been able to develop an extensive data base of those people searching for a new church or a church.
Members are also encouraged to seek out new comers and invite them to other activities.
We use their tear off too and it works quite well. You have to make sure that guests are welcomed from the pulpit and encouraged to fill it out. We encourage our people to also connect with the visitors to encourage them to do the same. We don't get a lot of traffic since we're a little church 10 miles out of town, but we are getting guests that are beginning to return because of follow up.
In the past when I was the Hospitality Director in our church we used the guest register tear-off sheets and followed up much like Sheri does. We also had assigned volunteers (8 who worked on a rotating basis.) who would wander around in the narthex and during the coffee time specifically to meet and greet visitors and newcomers. We had a lot of comments that people felt we were a very welcoming church.
Someone else has taken over the Hospitality position at this time and things are done much more informally now.
What ideas does anyone have on how to intigrate new people/families into the church community. Mentoring? We have about 275 members, with mostly young couples and senior citizens. Not many families in their 40s and 50s.
I would be interested in hearing what people are doing now. We are planning to start putting a Welcome cart outside by our sanctuary front door and have someone stand by it to give out materials if people want them and to answer questions (and welcome people of course). We think we'd like to have coffee to give out, too, but starting with this.
We track attendance of everyone in the worship service.
We have folders on the left side of every row of seats. At the beginning of the service, the first announcement is always to 'pick up the black folder' and to fill in the form ... as a record of attendance and to write down prayer requests that are prayed for by church staff throughout the week.
We just 'tick off the boxes': first time visitor (and they pick up a gift bag at the welcome centre after the service), regular participant, occasional participant, name and address (address is optional), email address if they want to receive the weekly e-newsletter, and plenty of space for a prayer request.
First time visitors receive special attention by hosts at the welcome desk. The key, though, is to have astute ushers who simply know the congregation: know who the regulars are and know who the recent participants are.
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