5 tips for welcoming church visitors
Each of your church guests is a unique person with a different background and different comfort level. Check out this short video for tips on how to show your guests you care about them as individuals, not just potential members.
Each of your church guests is a unique person with a different background and different comfort level that line between comfort and discomfort is a fine one after they visit should you call visit them email send a gift
Here are five quick tips for showing your church guests you care without making them uncomfortable or even annoyed in the process.
- Location, location, location
You've heard this slogan in reference to real estate, but it's also key in creating a church visitor welcoming plan. Assess your community. What's considered friendly in the South, for instance, may be perceived as pushy in other regions. The best way to gauge what your visitors might want in a follow-up is to ask your newest members what they think since they were your guests not too long ago. They'll be able to relate and will likely be a good indicator of how others in your community prefer to be welcomed.
- Know thy neighbor
It's also helpful to know a little background info about each of your visitors. Did they visit because they're looking for a new church? Maybe they grew up in church, but haven't been active in quite some time or maybe they're completely new to church. Knowing this information is key to understanding their comfort level. Some visitors are more comfortable with email and social media follow-ups while others might appreciate a phone call or in-person visit. Make a sincere effort to get to know them as individuals and not just as another potential member.
- Seize the day
Don't miss the window of opportunity. It's best to contact your church's first-time guests within 24 hours of their visit to show an immediate level of care and concern. Welcoming doesn't end when your guests exit the church door; it's an ongoing process of building relationships so that they'll come back to visit again.
- No surprises
Be upfront before you collect contact info for follow-up. Tell your visitors what you plan to do with their information — whether you tell them verbally or have it printed on a newcomer card. It's definitely best to let them know ahead of time so they aren't surprised when you do follow-up. But don't force the issue if they decide not to give their info. Don't worry; it doesn't necessarily mean you've lost them. Some people may prefer to continue getting to know your church in other ways.
- Follow through
Like a good tennis swing, welcoming is all about the follow-through. Say it all went well with the first visit, the follow up was perfect and now your guests have become members. It's a good idea to touch base with them in their first three months and then again at six months. Keep them coming back for more by insuring they've connected with the church and are still enjoying the experience.
Learn more at http://UMCom.org/Welcoming/.