Ten Ways Churches Keep First Time Guests:
- Notice they are with you. Churches that have a plan for connecting with first time guests are infinitely more likely to keep them.
a. During the service, have ushers pass out connection cards to every row of chairs or pew in the church.
b. Give verbal instructions.
c. Ask everyone to fill one out. Ask for less than 7 pieces of information.
d. Show people filling them out on the video screen.
e. Have ushers pick them back up before the end of the service.
- Let them know you care they are there. Contact them within 24 hours in whatever media address they give you. For a physical address – take them a gift. For an e-mail address – send them an e-mail. If they give you a phone number, call them. In all cases just say “Thank you for coming. It meant so much to us. How can we be of service to you? What questions do you have?”
- Help them take the next step in discipleship. What is your plan of discipleship for a person who visits worship for the first time? A connection class or newcomer orientation?
- Help each member of their household feel connected – advocate for each individual – not just the household leader.
- Introduce them to another person who has a similar background.
- Introduce them to someone from the church who lives in their neighborhood.
- Invite them to an opportunity to get acquainted with leaders of the church.
- Demonstrate what the church is all about. Help them experience the main thing that makes your church unique.
- Call them by name the next time you see them.
- And the most important way churches keep first time guests – they pray for them.
And to get first time guests – invite them. They aren’t sitting around this morning wondering which church to attend.