Most of us have at one time or another been a visitor at a new church.
I know when I have I’ve felt trepidation at being a stranger in a new church community. Will this community be a good fit for me? Do they have the kinds of activities I like? Are they a community that is welcoming of new people?
How can you as a church combat these feelings and turn visitors into members? The key is engagement and outreach.
When I most recently visited a new church, they had me fill out a visitor card, and within two days I received a personal email offering suggestions on how I could get involved in the church. I then got a card in the mail two weeks later welcoming me back anytime! This simple outreach helped me feel this community would be a great fit for me!
How do you do this for your church?
A simple way to get this started is to utilize a Church Management System (ChMS) to your advantage. Targeted outreach is an important part of engaging and bringing visitors into your community as members, and a software system specifically-designed to do this can work wonders.
Here’s a guide for using a ChMS to engage more church visitors:
Identify a system for visitor outreach. A ChMS is an ideal way to organize volunteers for visitor outreach. The right software will help your church schedule all areas of outreach, from initial contact to small group management.
Make initial contact; get visitors’ names and information.
Use your ChMS and its mobile abilities to empower your outreach and have volunteers collect information via a mobile device before and after service. If you don’t want to get quite that advanced use visitor cards to easily collect information from your visitors and have them submit those cards after the service.
After you have made the initial contact via visitor card or in-person, find out a few things about them. Have each outreach volunteer talk to 2-3 visitors and gather information such as: What do they want from a church community? Why have they come and what are they looking for? Contemporary worship? Bible study? Women’s Groups? Community volunteering? Do they have children?
Gathering this information makes it easy to later target visitors with activities they are interested in.
After gathering basic information, use your ChMS to email visitors by group. For instance, anyone interested in a bible study would receive a tailored email relating bible study events and information. Employing the specific information gathered on potential members helps them to feel engaged by matching them with events and opportunities they are truly interested in, and prevents them from being overwhelmed by 20 (or more) possible involvement options.
Connecting with visitors
Of course, when you send your first outreach and targeted marketing, you need to make sure it’s formulated to really connect with visitors. Church Community Builder offers excellent suggestions on speaking to visitors in a way that keeps them engaged and responsive.
The right ChMS can make a enormous impact on visitor engagement/assimilation, as can following the right process to keep church visitors coming back and turning them into lifelong members.
Are you wondering if your church is ready for a ChMS? We can help with that! Our church management software ebook provides guidance on the ChMS buying process.
Header by Rachel Wille
Looking for Church Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Church Management software solutions.