By New Churches Team: Every church needs an effective way to assimilate guests into the church and get them plugged into ministries and groups within the church. Here are three practical tips to do so.
1.Map It Out:
A healthy way to do that is to map out where you want people to go. Make sure that every place in the church has a next step that is easy, obvious, and strategic. For many churches, getting a guest into a group is the stickiest way to assimilate them. While a person might attend church an average of two times a month, they are likely to attend a small group three times a month.
2. Follow Up:
Once you have a map in place, create a follow-up plan. For example, the day after their first visit they get an email. Later that week, call them on the phone in the middle of the day when you don’t expect them to be home and leave a voicemail. Create a communication workflow that works for your church.
3. Extend An Invitation:
Offer a welcome or membership meeting, but don’t force them to attend an hour long class. This gathering should be limited to 8 to 12 minutes and should happen frequently – even as often as once a Sunday or after every worship service. Extend an invitation from the stage and then take at least a few minutes to come by every meeting. This gathering should quickly overview the church’s mission and values, give them something, collect their contact information, and then steer them into an easy next step.
Though you should make an attempt to attend every welcome gathering, you don’t have to lead it. Find someone in the church who works in the hospitality industry and would excel in serving in this area. Take time to read up on hospitality and guest experience to get a better idea of what makes the best first impression and then train your entire staff. Or check out ourGuest Services course on NewChurches.com for 12 modules to help you learn and grow in church hospitality.
Adapted from the New Churches Q&A Podcast Episode 80: Creating Clear Next Steps for Guests. Click hereto listen to more to church planting, multisite, and multiplication tips.