When you give it your all on your outreach efforts, only to see that new visitors don’t translate into steady church growth, ask yourself the question…
Are we making follow-up a priority?
I mean, really making follow-up a priority.
You know where your priorities lie—not so much on the amount of effort put into something—but what systems you have applied to something.
What is your church’s follow-up system?
Before we go too far into making you feel completely inadequate, let’s nail down the basic essentials for any church follow-up system to be truly effective…
Basically, you need 2 processes (nailed down) and 5 tools.
First you need a Follow-Up Process.
Basically this is a one-page flowchart that shows what happens when someone enters your church for the first time.
This covers everything from how guest information is collected, where it’s entered, WHO is responsible for (what type of) follow-up, and what happens next.
Second, you need a New Christian Process.
This covers everything that needs to happen in your church once someone has indicated they have made a decision to follow Christ.
Once you have these processes down, you need 5 tools at your disposal, without which you can’t grow your church. (Well, maybe you could, but it would be very unlikely.)
- Connection Card – Whether you use this in the “bulletin” on stuff a copy in the back of every seat, you need a way for newcomers to indicate that they’re there, and give you a chance to follow up with them.
- Thank You Note Cards – These are simple cards that your outreach team or staff can easily send that acknowledge a newcomer’s visit and welcome them to visit again.
- Email Follow-Up Sequence – There’s no reason you can’t communicate in an ongoing way with first-time visitors. You should have a “guest friendly” email series that sends out reminders, invitations, special events, and new sermon series to help people stay in touch with your church.
- New Believer Letter – Yes. There needs to be written communication that acknowledges—and celebrates—new Christians in your church.
- Welcome Letter from the Pastor – Don’t worry, this can be a form letter. It needs to touch on the essentials of your church as well as why you’re looking forward to your guests returning next Sunday.
Simply put, your church is currently the size it is designed to be. If you want to grow, you need systems that will take your church to the next level.
And before you ask the question, YES, these are systems that can be used by churches of every conceivable size.
In fact, we have specifically tailored these systems for churches exactly like yours. Small (or mid-sized) churches that want to grow beyond where they are, but aren’t yet seeing the leaders and resources that are necessary to get there.