First impressions matter. Follow up matters. When guests attend our classes, we should do everything in our power to welcome them and make them feel comfortable. Our efforts should be offered because of the love of Jesus and because we care and want them to return (and want them to join our classes).
First impressions begin when guests see our website, see our parking lot, walk into our facilities, and walk into our classes. But impressions don’t end there. They continue throughout the Sunday School experience. Sights, smells, and human interactions impact those impressions.
When guests walk out of our classrooms, visit into bathrooms, pick up their children, and move into the sanctuary, first impressions continue. There are many opportunities to turn these moments into enjoyable experiences. Attention should be paid to these guests without smothering them. We should be interested and caring without appearing nosey.
First moments matter. But so do last moments. When guests walk out of our classrooms, worship, and facilities, we should thank them for being present. We should ask if they had any questions, and we should ask how we can pray for them. Prayer shows you care.
Not only do last moments matter, but the hours and days that follow guests being in class matter. How will you continue to express your interest and care? Your follow up should not wait days or weeks. Your interest and care then appears to be cold. Their memories are less fresh. Follow up matters.
Make contact with guests within 72 hours (ideally by Tuesday night). Visits are the most personal. Phone is the next most personal. Sure, send letters/cards and make electronic follow up, but visits and phone calls express more personal interest and care.
When you communicate with guests, thank them for being in class. Ask if they have questions. Share upcoming plans: lessons, fellowships, projects, etc. Invite them to join you for these plans. Ask how you can pray for them. Share a class prayer request. Pray together. This can all be done in 5 minutes, unless the guest has lots of questions. Those minutes are great investments. This investment in follow up matters.
Second time guests are much more likely to join our classes and our churches. They are much more likely to come to Jesus and grow as disciples. Follow up matters.
Follow up mattters. What can you do to improve guest follow up? What can you do this week? Lead toward improvement because you care. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!