In the midst of the virus and fears of this past year, and for some still battling those fears, we have had to adjust our way of following up on visitors. I realize that each church’s situation is unique. We have updated our way of reaching out to folks virtually. Because of that opportunity, we are seeing more watching our on-line services, checking out our web-page, and listening to past sermons and helpful posts. We have had folks tell us that they watched and searched for several weeks before ever coming and visiting one of our services in person. So we’re thankful for those opportunities, but we’ve had to adapt to how we follow up on visitors once they come. It’s very frustrating to make the calls and not find anyone home, or know they’re home but won’t answer the door. It’s amazing that still happens! Since this virus, it’s been almost impossible to get anyone to want a personal visit in their home. So if I could, I’d like to share a difficulty that we’ve been experiencing over the past several years.
We have had a couple at our Welcome Center to welcome visitors, give them a packet of information about the church, and hand them an information card for them to fill out. Most of the time, that would be accepted, but we would find them in the pews after the service. Sometimes we would get a name, but no address, phone number, or e-mail information. So, we made an adjustment that was expedited this past year. We still welcome any visitors as they come in. We still give them the welcome packet and ask them to fill out the information card, if they would, and turn it in. But, what we started doing was catching them as they were leaving the service. Usually, it’s my wife or one of our deacon wives that thanks them again for visiting. They will check if they have any questions, if they had a chance to fill out the card, and invite them back.
What we have found is that it takes three or four visits before we’ll get any information from our visitors. Then, we can get in touch with them via e-mail, or make the phone call to check on their particular needs. I have only found a couple since this past March that have been willing to allow me to come and visit them in their home. It literally took several months for one of our new families to have me in their home, to ask the questions, and then make the commitment to become a part of our church family. Making them feel welcome in the service and then getting with them after the service has been the most productive for us. Our follow up has been the most productive in the foyer of the church.