Assimilation – Putting the Pieces Together Part 4

If you made contact with your first-time guest within 24-36 hours of their visit to your church, you have already significantly increased the likelihood that they will visit your church again. But a second effort–a midweek contact–can be a great way to make a deeper connection.

The days of home visitation, at least the way we used to do it–may be gone for most of us. People live at too quick a pace and have too great a desire for privacy to be pleased with finding a couple of us on their doorstep, looking to discuss their spiritual condition. But, a quality midweek contact is still possible.

For many, the best approach has been to stop by with a gift–something different than the gift they received on Sunday–and a quick “It was great to have you at our church” kind of greeting. Preferably limited to a brief, front-porch conversation, these quick visits demonstrate our genuine interest and willingness to “go the extra mile” to extend a quality welcome.

Not everyone will choose a personal visit with a gag of cookies, but your second contact should be more personal than the first. If you sent an email on Monday, make a phone call on Wednesday or Thursday. If your first contact was by phone, find a way to be more personal with visit number two.

There may be occasions where the home visit can turn into a significant ministry moment, but don’t make that your goal. Stop by with every intention of leaving quickly, and if the guest desires more, well, you can enter the open door. But, if you visit, looking for such an invite, the guest may feel pushed into an encounter they really don’t desire.

The midweek contact can be a way to answer some lingering questions about the church or learn about a special need that your guest wishes the church might remember in prayer. Keep things simple and non-intrusive and your guest will close their door thinking, “that was really nice of them.”

As a general rule, two contacts are sufficient. A third may start feeling pushy. Also, if you try to connect by phone and leave a message, don’t call back too often. On the second message, let your guests know you were glad they visited the church and leave it at that. A third message or a request for a call back communicates expectations–big mistake. The point of the follow-up contact effort is to simply expand the welcome and let the guest know that their visit mattered to you and to your congregation. Leave it at that!

Next week, in part 5, we’ll look at the important next step–meeting the Pastor…

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