If you’re wondering how to get Christmas visitors to come back to your church, read about four ways that will help.
Note: This article originally appeared on the Proclaim blog.
Your follow-up plan for Christmas visitors isn’t a biannual program you turn on before Christmas and Easter. Those are obviously the weekends you can expect the most newcomers, but your church should always be refining the journey from visitors to members.
Christmas Visitors are “Visitors”
There are plenty of things you can do during the service to make people feel welcome, and ways you can cater your sermons to newcomers, but even if you do all of that perfectly, and your church looks and feels exactly how you’ve always imagined it would, that doesn’t guarantee people will come back the next week. Your follow-up plan, whether for Christmas visitors or visitors any time, should be a well-oiled machine that follows new people out the door and brings them back.
- If it takes two weeks for your church to reach out to new people, you’re losing some of them.
- If you’re collecting contact information you aren’t using, you’re losing some of them.
- If people can read your email or talk to you on the phone without knowing what you want them to do next, you’re losing some of them.
You’ll always find exceptions, and there are plenty of other factors, but if any of the problems above apply to your church, your follow-up plan may as well be a placebo.
If your church can’t seem to hold on to newcomers, here are four ways you can bring more of those newcomers back next week:
1. Follow up in a timely manner
Don’t give visitors enough time to forget you before reaching out to them.
Follow up should begin while your service is still fresh in someone’s mind. If people give you their contact information, they’re expecting you to contact them. If you wait too long to call, email or mail them, you’re starting your relationship as the flaky friend nobody can count on. No matter how much you enjoy the company of a flaky friend, it doesn’t take very long before the relationship is too much work, or too unreliable to maintain.
And let me just say right now, when people give you their mailing address, they are expecting mail, not strangers on their door step.