The Easter season typically brings in visitors and guests from the community, but how many of those visitors actually come back and get plugged into your church? Sometimes the follow-up plan for staying connected with families can be more important than the initial connection, so here are 5 steps to effectively follow up with families AFTER the Easter rush…
- Prepare well. An effective follow-up begins before the event or special service even happens. Prepare to follow up with guests before they even walk through your doors by having a solid system in place for collecting their information with new family registration cards or online options through your check-in system. Know how and when you’ll follow up with families before the event takes place so you can rest and recover after.
- Create a welcoming environment. Make sure your ministry is a place people actually WANT to come back to and would enjoy hearing from. Train your team to be on the lookout for visitors and give them extra guidance or a special welcome. Ask a few of your older, regular kids to be buddies for new friends in their small group. Make sure you don’t have other responsibilities during drop off and pick up so you can greet families as they arrive.
- Give them something tangible to take home. Don’t let families walk out your doors without a little something to remind them of their time with you. This may look like a ministry-branded gift for the child or even relevant parent resources for families to use at home. Whether you share a full ministry info packet, a postcard with upcoming events, or even a small gift for the kids, give them something to take home with them.
- Connect with them throughout the week. Follow up with families within the week, or within the next 2-3 days when possible. Send kids a physical postcard in the mail letting them know how much you enjoyed meeting them and that you can’t wait to see them again soon. Email the parents with your latest ministry newsletter and a link to your ministry’s social media accounts. Share pictures from the event or Easter morning service (everyone loves pictures of their kids). Find a way to connect with them in the week following your first time meeting.
- Highlight a clear next step. Too often, people want to get involved in a church but they just don’t know how. Eliminate confusion by giving them a simple next step that’s a natural progression for a first-time guest. Give details about an upcoming special event or highlight the next series you’ll be teaching. At the very least, invite them back to your next Sunday service by giving details about time(s) and location(s). Let them know exactly how they can get involved with a simple next step.
What would you add? In what ways have you followed up with visiting families? An intentional follow-up strategy with first-time guests is an important step in building relationships that lead to lifelong discipleship.