How Effective Churches Follow Up on First Time Guests

I shared in my previous post how to respond if few or no guests are attending your church or group. I wanted to follow up by sharing how effective churches follow up on first time guests. You will find that the churches that do well have a system.  Now that system can vary from church to church in the details but the systems share these four traits in common:


  1. The church has a “system.” When a guest visits for the first time a process is triggered that automatically assures that several things will happen within the next week. It begins with seeking to register as many guests as possible by any means possible to harvest contact information.
  2. The church will provide a “quick touch” of some kind within 24 hours. The touch could be a call, email, text, or social media contact, but you can be assured the visit of the guest will be acknowledged quickly and without fail.
  3. Someone from the church will provide a “personal touch” during the following week. This interaction will be warm, encouraging, and person to person. It may or may not be in person but it will be personal. The strongest “personal touch” is to find a way to share a meal or coffee and dessert. A phone call is better than no touch but the more personal, the better.
  4. The church will make “multiple touches” over the coming weeks.  This will better insure that a ministry touch is made. Emails can be missed. Texts can be overlooked. Visits can be made to find no one at home. Calls can go to voice mail. Social media posts may not be viewed. Multiple touches increase the likelihood that a connection will be made.


The touches found in the churches systems do not represent the end of the process, but rather the beginning. The key is to move the guests toward relationships with members. The touches can get a guest to return but they will only assimilate if relationships are developed. However, the first touches are an important link in the chain. What is your church doing that is “automatic” once a guest visits?