What happens when someone visits your church and even “settles in” for a few weeks……and then doesn’t show up again?
Should you “pursue” this person or family? Should you just forget about them assuming that they are part of this “transient”, “low commitment” or “meet MY needs” generation?
I am sure that we can find supporters for each option. For me, the answer to the question falls into the “it depends” category! It depends on a number of different factors, some of which are things you can control, and some of the things are dependant on the personalities of the people.
Factors you can impact and change/control:
- The “welcome and follow up system” that you implement for visitors
- Plans for contact and relationship building
- The “culture” of your community towards newcomers
- Raise awareness of the needs of newcomers
- Build sensitivity
- Offer friendship
- Teach “welcoming”
- The “opportunities” that you create for new folks to get involved
- Tour of the building
- Opportunities to serve
- Personal invitations by group leaders/members of groups
- The “information” you learn from the visitor
- Their gifts and skill set
- Their needs
- Their impressions
Factors that you must react to, respond to and/or ignore:
A. The personality of the visitor
B. The way the visitor receives your attention
I am a firm believer of goals and systems and implementation. The 4 criterion that you can impact and change/control are all criterion that a church serious about incorporating new people pay attention to. If you create solid systems that impact criterion 1-4, then it will be quite obvious when you should continue pursuing a visitor and when you should simply let them walk away.
Check the attached PDF to see a sample follow-up system that can be implemented in your church. After you read through the pdf, make a list of the things that would need to be changed at your church to implement a systematic welcome and follow-up of visitors at your church.
This article and the accompanying resource is one of the articles from the Welcoming Community email newsletter. This newsletter is published about 8 times a year by the EXODUS Network in order to support churches, Christian schools and neighbors in their desire to become more welcoming communities! The newsletter provides articles and ready to use tools to ensure that families who are moving and are new to schools or churches are warmly welcomed.
The EXODUS Network is a Christian community relocation service that offers a free service that connects moving families with information about the Christian community and with REALTORS in local communities who are Christian community specialists.
The EXODUS Network has also created a national directory called ChristianSchoolSearch.com. Be sure to create a free account for your school at www.ChristianSchoolSearch.com so that families who are moving will be able to find your school! You’ll want to add your information even if you have your own website –in fact you can put a link to your own website along with your school’s information. This ChristianSchoolSearch directory will soon be available on many REALTOR and Christian business websites. It is FREE MARKETING for your school! You can sign up to receive the next issue of Welcoming Community when you add your school.
The Christian School Directory along with a nationwide church directory (USAChurchSearch.com or CanadaChurchSearch,com) are free because they are sponsored by local REALTORS who are Selected Agents of the EXODUS Network across the country. Hopefully, when you know of families from your school who may be moving, you will encourage them to call the EXODUS Network so they can be connected to the Selected Agent (there is NO CHARGE). These moving families will be able to use a wide variety of tools and resources, including lots of Moving Resources and a complete move organizer that helps you get everything organized for your move.
EXODUS Network selected agents are from the various real estate companies. We thoroughly prescreen individual agents for professionalism, service and commitment.
Welcome Gift Pack
Welcoming Visitors and FOllowing Up Effectively