God sovereignly brings visitors to your church.
But once people are first welcomed into your church during their first visit, what happens when the service is over?
How do you help your church visitor connect?
When we were first married and moved to Chicago, we started attending an Assembly of God and went to a Sunday school class for married couples.
Socializing after the class, we had lots of things in common with 3 other couples: newlywed transplants from another state.
Then the phone calls began to happen.
- “Hey, Tom had surgery, come over and play cards.”
- “Hey, let’s go to dinner.”
- “Hey, let’s have a cookout.”
- “Hey, what are you doing. Let’s watch a movie tonight.”
Pretty soon, two things began to happen as we spent time together.
- We felt connected to the local church.
- We developed deep and intimate friendships that are now 25 years old.
This got started because someone took the initiative to get us together and we met over a meal and played cards.
An act of hospitality.
A simple next step.
This turned into deep relationships that last.
How to help church visitors connect:
- If you have small groups, have leaders intentionally invite church visitors to their small group.
- Invite church visitors to your home for lunch or dinner (don’t worry about dessert or a spotless house — I heard a story this week about a woman who made her sister use a restroom at a gas station because her house wasn’t ready to receive her sister — sure, it needs to be clean, but not perfect)
- Invite church visitors out for a snack / lunch / dinner or something with a group from the church.
- If you prayed with the visitor after service, make a phone call during the week.
Let me ask you this?
What methods do you use to help church visitors connect with your family?
In order to phone a new person, you need to find out their phone number. Our pastor says that people don’t like to give out their phone numbers and like we shouldn’t even ask. My church of about 30 rarely has a visitor but in case we did, we can’t even find a piece of paper to write their name on. And what would we do with the paper? Hmmm, the new pastor isn’t much of the visitation type, and even told us, that he wasn’t hired to grow the church and besides, it isn’t his problem. The C.E. program and the married couples club folded a few years back. There is no protocol for inviting people back, and “shore-nuff” we don’t have that problem. People never come back! Well, hardly ever. Hmmm, do you have some ideas.????? We have a coffee time and people are friendly then, but it doesn’t go farther than that.
Rosa, what a great question. . .
First off, it’s hard to grow a church when there isn’t a vision to grow. Particularly when the pastor says “Not my job.” The pastor is the vision setter and if that fails, there’s not much once can do about it.
As to how to connect with visitors, the best way in a group that size is to give an invite to something afterwards, like go to a meal together, hang out together, or something for the friendship to begin to form.
I think in most places, visitation has changed to intrusion, so meeting out in a public space for tea, coffee, lunch is a better way to go.