Follow up is important. It shows we care. It shows we want our guests to return–but only when done in a timely fashion. What do I mean? I recently heard of a guest who responded when contacted, “My visit was over a year ago. I guess you really weren’t interested. Just take me off your list.” Ouch!
TIMELY. Our contacts should begin immediately after they were in class or worship. Ideally contact should be made within 72 hours (3 days). After that point, guest likelihood to return drops significantly. Besides, quick follow up–even by phone–shows we noticed and we care. In fact, it may be more impressive if you can arrange for three contacts within the week following their visit:
- teacher makes a phone call within 72 hours,
- a member writes a card/letter and mails it on Monday,
- a class team makes a visit sometime that week.
If you have an email, another member might even send an email of thanks and hope they return to reach them on Friday or Saturday.
ONGOING. When do we stop our caring contact efforts? Remove them from your prospect list (contact list) when they die, move out of the ministry reach of the church, or join a Sunday School class. Occasionally despite our best efforts at extending care in our contacts with a guest, some may ask us to remove them from our list. If they do so, pray for them and do so.
CARING CALL AGENDA. What should a good follow up phone call include?
- Greeting and introduction, including class and church
- I want to thank you for… (refer to source of the contact–being in class/worship on Sunday, coming to VBS, etc.) OR I wanted to follow up on your prayer request from the last time we talked…
- Our class will be studying ______________ this week/this month, and I hope you (or your child) can join us OR Our class will be having a fellowship/project on ______________, and I hope you (or your child) can join us
- Our class has a couple of prayer requests about which we would like to ask you to join with us in prayer… (with youth/adults) OR How can our class pray for you (and your family)?
- May I pray with you right now? Pray together.
- Thank him/her and say goodbye
This kind of a caring phone call can be made every week. There are opportunities for following up on previous prayer requests and for building relationships. There are opportunities to connect with them beyond the walls of the classroom/church through fellowships/projects. (This same caring phone call could even be made with members who are absent!)
Don’t miss an opportunity to help your class experience the joy of connecting with and following up guests. Teach them why follow up is important. Teach them why it needs to be timely and ongoing. Teach them how to do so in a caring way. Then release them to love people to class, to church, and to Jesus! Make disciples. Be revolutionary!