Easter is this weekend, but I don’t need to tell you that. You and every other pastor in the country have been preparing for one of their largest services of the year. Some may be finalizing their sermon while others may be making sure that their worship leader or chancel choir are ready to wow the new visitors. Every church and denomination is different but there is one thing that every pastor needs to be ready to do this Sunday to ensure more visitors will come back.
Ask for visitors’ contact information.
In order for the Church as the body of Christ to grow, the church needs to connect with more people; to form community; to create fellowship. Without a way to contact someone, we can only hope and pray that they saw something they liked and will come back. With a person’s contact information, you can connect with every visitor and personally extend an invitation to them to become a part of your community. Let me give you an example of how I do that for my church partners.
At The Provisum Group, our partners have congregations spanning almost every geographic, ethnic, and socio-economic demographic there is. We have tailored texting solutions, video emails, web landing pages, check in kiosks and even something as simple as hand out cards to prepare for this Sunday. All of this effort’s singular purpose is to make sure that all of the new visitors will get an email on Monday morning thanking them for visiting and inviting them back to the youth lock-in or the BBQ contest or the picnic that the church is hosting later that month. These events are where people from your church can connect with people from the neighborhood and create community and fellowship that lead to church growth. (You can read more about that in my book, Connect)
Here is a free tip that I typically charge my church partners for.
If you haven’t planned to collect contact information this Sunday or send a follow up email, here’s what you can do. Print out a small form or even get some index cards and leave them in every pew. During service, before the offering, thank the visitors for attending and tell them that you’re about to take the offering and that the only thing that you want from them as your guests is an opportunity to invite them back. Ask them to fill out that index card with their name and email address and put it in the offering plate. If you really want to impress your visitors and increase the number of cards collected, announce at each Easter service that your church will donate $XXX to XXXXX charity for every card collected on Easter morning. (I would suggest you pick a ministry you already support)
On Monday, send each and every person an email thanking them for attending on Easter and ask them to come to your next event. If you do this consistently, people will connect, friendships will be made, a community will form, and your church will grow.
If you want to learn more about how to use techniques like this to grow your church, I want to tell you about my new book Connect. In this book I share with you lessons like this one that I have learned from years of managing and growing churches all across the country. You will learn turn-key, proven steps that you can take to connect with the neighborhood around you and grow your church. Click the link below and learn more.