First Time Guest

Anticipation? Expectation? A little bit of nausea? A combination of the three? Someone visiting your church for the first time can experience a wide variety of feelings and emotions as they enter the unknown area. Creating an inviting and warm experience for first- time guest before, during, and after services and events is important. Be sensitive to the visitors and don’t do anything that might embarrass them. For example, calling them to the front, asking them to stand, and asking them to raise their hand is not the best approach. However, taking a moment to thank them for coming goes a long way in sending a message of acceptance. A goal for our church staff and team members is to help guest feel loved, welcomed, and to set an atmosphere of acceptance. Which means meeting them with love from the very beginning to the end. This starts with the main people they will either see walking in or on stage, greeters, ushers, Pastors, and worship team. Every church that has a desire to grow understands that growth comes from visitors who convert to active members. First Time Guest team is one of the most IMPORTANT teams in the church, we treat new guest as our main priority, so the unsaved become saved. New people bring people, our church stands to see thousand locally and millions globally to come to know Christ. Here is how we work with our new guest, let’s get started.

“New people bring new people.”

Meet and Greet Table

Create a welcome center in the lobby and have a trained volunteer who can welcome the visitor, give them a tour of the facility and answer any questions they may have. After we meet a new guest we lead them to our new guest table where we continue fellowship and prayer needs. At the table, we have visitor cards that allow them to provide information so we can follow up with them. When they arrive offer them information about the church and a free gift in exchange for their connection card. The gift is not is not as important as the opportunity to connect with the guest. Our goal is not to meet everyone, the goal is to meet one person and meet them deeply. Use this opportunity to get to know them, if they feel like someone connected with them it will increase their likelihood of returning.

“All who enter as guest, must leave as friends.”

Workflows: 3 step process

Visitor follow- up is just as important as getting people in the door. So you’ve had success with getting visitors to the door, but what do you do when they leave? Follow up with a message saying thank you for visiting. Assign this job to someone to have done every Monday morning. You want this message to go out quickly while the church experience is still fresh in the visitor’s mind. We use a church-based app called Planning Center, where we set up workflows that go through our welcoming steps. Here is the 3 step process:

1. Welcome SMS

Send out a text message the next day (Monday)

“Thank you for visiting ____ Service, we were blessed to have you! Please let us know if you have anything questions.”

2. Welcome Phone call

After we do phone calls (Tuesday)

Here we just use our voice so they can connect deeper.

Call them and tell them how excited you are that they visited. Ask them for their feedback and anything that your church can improve. Sometimes they may share a testimony or something great that took place during their visit.

3. Welcome Email

Lastly, one of our Pastor sends an email (Wednesday)

Hello ____, This is Pastor _____. We are so honored to have had you as our guest at _________. We can’t wait to see you again this Sunday.

God Bless
Pastor _____.

Church growth is the result of a God-inspired church vision and a commitment to fulfilling that call. The steps you take to follow up with visitors may be the one thing that gets them to come back.

What does your church do to follow up with first-time visitors?

Written by: Genesis Sifuentez

Stay connected with Genesis