Following up on first time guests
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Following Up on First-Time Guests. Ken Braddy LifeWay Christian Resources Manager, Adult Ongoing Bible Studies (And recent first-time guest at multiple churches). Principles of Follow-Up. Principle #1 – You can be too aggressive in your follow-up.

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Following Up on First-Time Guests

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Following up on first time guests

Following Up on First-Time Guests

Ken Braddy

LifeWay Christian Resources

Manager, Adult Ongoing Bible Studies

(And recent first-time guest at multiple churches)


Principles of follow up

Principles of Follow-Up


Principle 1 you can be too aggressive in your follow up

Principle #1 – You can be too aggressive in your follow-up

  • Attenders at your church are on a “blinddate” – they don’t know what to expect and are often very anxious

  • Don’t ask them to “marry” your church too fast – that will ruin the “courtship”


Principle 2 contact by church members is better than contact by staff

Principle #2 – Contact by church members is better than contact by staff

A survey indicates that the impact of a home visit is reduced by approximately 50% when made by a church staff member rather than people from a Sunday School class!

5 Handles for Getting A Grip on Your Sunday School, p. 10


Principle 3 the sooner you make a visit the more likely guests are to return

Principle #3 – The sooner you make a visit, the more likely guests are to return

  • A survey indicates that:

    • If visited in the home within 36 hours, first-time guests return 85% of the time

    • If visited in the home within 72 hours, first-time guests return 60% of the time

    • If visited in the home 7 days after the initial visit, only 15% of first-time guests return the next week

      5 Handles for Getting a Grip on Your Sunday School, p.10


Principle 4 think of follow up in terms of a marathon not a sprint

Principle #4 – Think of follow-up in terms of a marathon, not a sprint

  • The average family is now visiting a church (or churches) for 18 months before committing to join (Membership Matters, p.95)

  • Patience and follow-up are the keys to moving people from being attenders to being members


Principle 5 sunday school classes must do the bulk of follow up

Principle #5 – Sunday School classes must do the bulk of follow-up

  • Relationships are key to retaining people who visit

  • The more contact a guest has with his/her class of peers, the better the chance of retaining them

  • Between 65-90% of people first come to the church through the encouragement of a relationship (Membership Matters, p.48)


Principle 6 get guests for a month and you may get them for life

Principle #6 – Get guests for a month and you may get them for life

  • 10% of all first-time guests will become members

  • 25% of all second-time guests will become members

  • 45% of all third-time guests will become members

    This applies if the visits are on consecutive Sunday mornings

    (Source: The Outreach Marketing Road Show, Dallas, TX, Sept. 2006)


Purpose of follow up

Purpose of Follow-up

Stay focused on these 8 goals


The 8 goals of follow up

The 8 Goals of Follow-Up

  • Express thanks

  • Learn more about the family

  • Discover needs

  • Obtain feedback about the visit

  • Answer questions

  • Connect to a Sunday School class

  • Help the family discern God’s will for them

  • Share the gospel as the Holy Spirit leads


Precursors to follow up

Precursors to Follow-Up


Precursors

Precursors

  • Church websiteup to date

  • Brochures and publications

  • Information packets

  • Gift bags

  • Outreach leaders in classes and departments

  • A culture of outreach in Sunday School classes (all age groups!)


Connection insights

Connection Insights


Connection insights1

Connection Insights

  • People connect people…programs don’t

  • Use the “3-minute Rule”

  • Visitors won’t initiate the assimilation process

  • Newcomers need 6 significant relationships to stick (if they don’t do this within the first 90 days, there’s an 85% chance they’ll leave)

    (Outreach Marketing Road Show, Dallas, TX. Sept. ’06)


Connection insights2

Connection Insights

  • Everybody needs to be involved in the connection process, not just the teacher or outreach leader

  • Watch for holes and missing links (which ministries are retaining guests and which are not?)

  • Retaining guests is hard work and there are no shortcuts!

    (Outreach Marketing Road Show, Dallas, TX. Sept. ’06)


Follow up action steps

Follow-up Action Steps


Possible action steps

Possible Action Steps…

  • Sunday home visit by deacons (afternoon or evening…gift bag/info packet…quick visit)

  • Phone call from the pastorwithin48 hours after first visit

  • Letter from the pastor sent during first week after initial visit

  • Home visit made within 3 daysof first church visit (by SS class, preferably)


Possible action steps1

Possible Action Steps…

  • Phone call from staff member or Sunday School Director

  • Contact from Sunday School classes (ongoing)

  • Invitation to lunch next Sunday

  • Invitation to New Member Class

  • Follow-up at 30, 60, and 90 days


For further study

For Further Study…

  • High Expectations, Thom Rainer

  • Outreach Marketing Road Show

  • Finding Them, Keeping Them, McIntosh & Martin


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