Back to Basics: Welcoming Guests Requires Great Follow-up

Welcoming guests takes a consistent plan that invites them to more than a service but into a conversation and, ultimately, into your church community.

welcoming guests

Welcoming guests to your church is an exciting part of being a church leader. We are all encouraged when someone new shows up. but making sure we can follow-up with them takes more than a smile and a handshake (or a like and comment on the live stream worship). Exemplary guest service takes a consistent and manageable plan that invites them to more than a service but into a conversation and, ultimately, into your church community.

Here are a few things to consider when developing or revising your guest follow-up process:

1. Welcoming guests: Start before they show up

Use your website to connect with visitors before they even show up! Create a page with details to help them plan their visit. Include a form so that you can send them details about what to expect and reminders about your upcoming service.

2. Prepare your Welcoming Guests team

When you utilize a form on your website to start the guest welcome process, it will allow you to let your greeter team know how many guests to expect so they can show those guests the best experience possible. This may not seem like it has anything to do with follow up, but the more you extend hospitality, the more likely the guest is to trust you.

3. Tell them why and how to connect with you

Don’t expect guests to give you their information without explaining why. Give them multiple ways to connect with your church and the areas they may be interested in learning more about. Offer a guest gift or gift card to a local bakery or coffee shop or invite them to a special guest event. Invite your guests to fill out the connect card at least two times during the service. Perhaps have a member share about why they decided to connect with your church and then invite them to do the same.

4. Begin follow-up immediately

If a guest has trusted you with their contact information, that is a big deal! Show that you are interested in connecting with them by beginning your follow-up process as soon as possible. This doesn’t have to be a parade in front of their house, but a simple phone call, text message, or a small thank you gift dropped off at their front door.

5. Vary follow-up methods

We all have our preferred way to communicate. Some people prefer phone calls, others text messages, still others appreciate the personal touch of a hand-written note. Since we can’t be sure what our guests prefer, use various forms of communication to make sure your message of hospitality gets through to them.

6. Get your members involved

The responsibility of following up for welcoming guests doesn’t have to rest on the staff’s shoulders solely. Enlist your members to be a part of the guest follow-up process at your church. This will provide serving opportunities for your members and introduce more of your church family to your guests.

Welcoming guests is an integral part of your outreach strategy and something that needs time and attention, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Use these strategies to help you create a consistent, repeatable, and effective guest follow-up process. These six ideas will help your guests feel welcomed and loved by your church community.

 

This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

Jeanette Yates
Jeanette Yates is a former stay-at-home mom/Pilates Instructor-turned-UMC Church Communications Director. Using her gifts of storytelling, she enjoys sharing what God is doing in and through her church community & engaging with people online. In her spare time, Jeanette enjoys hiking with her husband and hanging out with her two sons. She is an avid reader and podcast fanatic. Seriously, she loves podcasts!