As never before with the increase in gas prices, churches should be serious about their follow up of guests in Sunday School and worship. Guests are a precious resource. Each one deserves personalized attention. None should be neglected from the moment they drive onto the church property to the moment they drive away. Many are there because they are open and seeking a church family to call home. But even those who are from out-of-town deserve the “royal treatment.”
Allow me to begin this blog post with this assumption: you have already taken great care of the guest in the parking lot, at the door, at guest registration, in the class, in the sanctuary, and on their way out of the church. Now that guests are already thinking and talking positively about your class and church, it is time to “close the deal.” It is time to follow up.
Let me say upfront that I believe the church office/staff should do some follow up as well. But here I am going to focus more on what each class can do to contact guests after they have attended our classes and worship. In Part 1, I will focus on what a class can do after guests attend the class. In Part 2, I will focus on following up with worship guests (who did not attend Sunday School).
Follow up actions after Sunday School attendance by a guest:
- class secretary makes sure to the class has complete contact information on the guest–all other actions past Sunday depend on this
- class secretary at the end of the class asks the guest if he/she would like to join the class (and if the answer is negative, let’s him/her know they are welcome to join whenever he/she is ready)
- class greeter or friend walks the guest(s) to find their children, restrooms, and worship
- class greeter or friend sits with guest in worship
- class members take home name/address to write and mail hand-written “thank you for attending” cards
- class greeter calls the guest within 72 hours to thank for attending, invite to class fellowship, and ask for prayer requests (for good ideas, read Calling People That Visit Your Class)
- church staff or deacon makes home visit Wednesday to Friday
- teacher calls guest on Friday or Saturday to ask if there were any questions and to invite back
- class care group leader who was assigned the guest sends an e-mail to the guest the next Sunday and calls the guest weekly beginning the second week
- class secretary or fellowship leader mails an invitation to the upcoming monthly class fellowship 12 days before the event
- care group leader calls the guest 7 days before the class fellowship to ask if he/she received the invitation and if he/she needs directions or transportation
With the right attitude of genuine interest in the guest, these actions (accompanied with a good first impression on the day the guest attended) should put your best foot forward. It should give you the best opportunity for a second visit from the guest. Rate your class on each of these eleven actions with a scale of 1 to 9 (with 1 being poor and 9 being excellent). Then, add up the eleven scores. If your score is 75 or more, congratulations on a great job. Keep it up! If your score is 50-74, focus on improving your score in 2-3 areas in the next quarter. If your score is below 50, begin to put in place actions that will help your class to follow up on guests (even before the first one attends). Don’t be mediocre in guest follow up. Be revolutionary!