Answering Your Assimilation Questions – #2

Question # 2 – Do You Do A Newcomer Reception?Fusion

I get this question a lot. Pastors everywhere are wondering whether or not to do a reception and what it should look like if they do… should it be weekly? Monthly? What should it entail? How do you get people to attend? There are lots of questions wrapped up in this one.

The short answer is yes, we do a Newcomer’s Reception every two months. Let’s break the details out journalism-style, shall we?

What: Every two months, my staff and I host a Newcomer’s Reception.

When: The reception is held right after the last service of the morning and lasts no more than 30 minutes.

Where: We always hold the reception at The Journey’s meeting location, rather than at our offices or some other off-site location. Proximity is key.

Why: I am a strong believer that a Newcomer’s Reception creates stickiness. It gives all of your recent guests another reason to come back to your church. Then, in turn, the reception helps connect them even more deeply – At each one, we do a giveaway (using giveaway cards) that allows us to collect every newcomer’s information. On the giveaway cards, they can sign up for membership, small groups, serving, baptism, etc. The goal is to use this opportunity to get every attender connected on a deeper level.

How: So how do we get our newcomers to attend? After someone visits our church for the first time, they get an email within 36 hours thanking them for attending. In that email, we mention the next Newcomer’s Reception and ask them to RSVP. We also ask them to bring a dessert to share – This gives them “buy in.” Then, two weeks before the reception, we send out personalized invitations from me, via first class mail. It works! We had more than 50 people attend our last one.

Check back tomorrow for some Assimilation tips on giving away free gifts to your first-time guests!

– Nelson

P.S. – If you want to go more in-depth with proven assimilation principles, check out my Assimilation Seminar and my new book on assimilation, Fusion.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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