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!
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