Following Up with First-Time Guests

Like most churches, you will likely meet a few new folks on Easter Sunday. Alongside Christmas, Easter is a prime day for people to visit church. And if you're able to obtain a few guest names, there’s some critical work to be done–work we should be doing every week.

How soon should you make contact with guests after their first visit?

Because churches operate on a seven-day calendar (i.e. there’ll be another Sunday come along in seven days), we have a tendency to think in seven-day increments. So many churches believe that making contact before next Sunday is sufficient. After all, next week we’ll have another group of guests to send letters to.

Wrong thinking…

Guests aren’t thinking in seven-day increments. They’re minds operate on a weekend-weekday cycle.So once Monday comes, the weekend and all of its activities are behind us and we shift back into school and work-week mode. If you want to follow up on a weekend event, like visiting your church, you better do it early in the week so any positive feelings from the experience can carry over into the new week.

Ideally, first contact should be 24-36 hours after their visit. Simply put, MONDAY!

Now, whatever plan you use in initiating contact, make sure it’s received by Monday night. So if you send emails, make phone calls, send text messages, or stop by with a gift, don’t wait until midweek for a first contact.

Some churches mail form letters or cards to their guests on Monday. Can you see a flaw in that plan? Unless your postal service can produce same-day delivery, those letters aren’t a good first contact strategy. They simply don’t get there in time.

Perhaps the best approach is a brief email or telephone contact on Monday, thanking the guest for visiting and expressing your hope that they enjoyed the experience. Just give them reason to think about their Sunday moment on Monday and you’ll significantly increase the likelihood that they will remember you again as they begin thinking about next weekend.

What does that next-day communication contain? What are you inviting guests to be a part of when they return? Download the customizable assimilation template and meet with your team to begin planning what your guest follow-up will look like.

If you're looking for an assimilation resource to lead guests through, consider purchasing the Acts Grow Track. This downloadable, customizable resource designed around Connect-Grow-Serve provides a template for churches to use and adapt for newcomers' classes. You can purchase and download the resource by clicking this link.

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