Church growth can be measured by the number of first-timers that return after their first visit and keep coming after that. Strategies to retain first time guests are important as their first visit will be for various reasons. It might be as a result of invitations from friends, family or the evangelism team. Sometimes they just randomly walk in because they are new to the area or are on vacation and looking for a Church to worship in.
To encourage these first time guests to make the decision to come back, there are strategies that need to be executed. In this article, we will be highlighting five of these strategies.
SHOW: YOUR VALUES
It is very important that visitors know what the core values, mission, vision and mandate of your Church are on their first visit. This information must be boldly displayed for everyone to see. This helps them to further understand and relate better with the Church service and activities. Apart from boldly displaying this important message, let them see who you are with actions. It is popularly said that actions speak louder than words. Seeing these things lets them decide that this is the kind of Church they want to be associated with.
KNOW: YOUR VISITORS
Know your visitors, get their names, addresses, phone numbers, prayer requests and any other information they are willing to give out. This information can be gotten through the use of welcome cards or forms. Please note that it is important to respect their privacy in the request for this information. After the first visit, there is a need to follow up. Calls, messages, visits if they agreed to be visited and so on. Make them feel like they are a part of the Church already.
INVITE: THEM TO COME BACK
Ask them to come again, this ensures a happier and stronger relationship. Even if they do not indicate interest in becoming members of your Church, still invite them to come again. Let them experience the glory of God in your services as much as they can. Let them know they will always be a part of the family and are free to come in at any time.
ASK: FOR FEEDBACK
Feedback is important, ask questions on how they enjoyed the service, the sermon, the choir ministration, the atmosphere, the reception, etc. Request for observations and listen to what they have to say. They tend to have unbiased opinions that can actually help with Church improvement.
MEASURE: YOUR RESULTS
This is to know whether or not your strategy is working and what areas need improvement. Metrics and records are very important as they help with reporting and making fact-based decisions. It is important to know how many first time guests have passed over a period of time, how many have been retained etc. With ChurchPlus, you can keep track of all first-timers, get to know them better, follow up and get feedback. You can also invite them to Church again using the SMS platform and so much more.
In conclusion, these five tips can form the foundation on which your first timer retention strategy is built and will give you an added advantage in ensuring your first-time guests keep coming back to Church.
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