Church plant guest followup will always be about people and relationships, but a few simple systems and tools will make staff & volunteers’ jobs easier and multiply their effectiveness.
The brutal reality is that you will have a church plant followup process whether it’s an intentional one or an accidental, haphazard one. Making it solid and easy to use will make sure guests don’t fall through the cracks.
I’m a fan of using Church Management Software (ChMS) that is designed to support these systems, but I understand that doesn’t work in every situation. Here are the pieces of the process you need to think through:
- How to craft the announcement in a way that is inviting and not threatening or weird
- The vehicle the guests will use to submit their contact info (connection cards, digital forms, text)
- The process you’ll use to collect those items (hand them down the row, put them in the offering plate, turn them in at the info table or ‘connections tent’ popup)
- Compiling all of the contact information (in the ChMS, a spreadsheet, a paper list)
- Noting the date of the guests’ visit
- Making a clear assignment to the staff or volunteer that will make contact
- What to say in the note or on the phone
- Recording notes or followup requests from that contact interaction
- Making clear assignments to the staff or volunteer that will follow up as appropriate
What Gets Measured Gets Done
You also need to set up a reporting system that will give you insight into your church plant followup process. Here’s where having a ChMS really makes your life easier. Use a built-in report or save your own custom reports that tell you:
- How may guests visited each month
- How many got connected
- The resulting retention rate
- Your historic retention rate so you can determine if you’re getting better or worse
Requiring these reports from your team emphasizes the importance of the process and creates urgency for creating a good system and keeping good records. Double check the data in the first several reports you get; if what you see on paper doesn’t match what you know to be true, then you have an opportunity to fix something that’s broken in your church plant followup process.