This week, we’ve been thinking about how you can work with the natural surge that God has built into the Christmas season to influence those who don’t yet know Jesus.
We started by making sure we are outwardly-focused this season. Then, we talked about how to increase the number of guests at our Christmas services. Yesterday, we learned how to make sure that those guests feel welcomed and want to come back again and again. If you’ve missed any of these posts, you can check them out below.
Today, we are going to wrap up this mini-series by exploring the importance of follow up. When your Christmas service is over and the pre-New Year lull hits, how will you follow up with the first-timers God gives you this season?
The way you follow up, or follow through, on the guests who come to your church will impact whether or not those guests choose to return. With your follow up, pay attention to the three Fs. Make sure it is Fast, Friendly and Functional:
FAST – Don’t underestimate the power of a quick follow up. Today, people are used to a whole new level of immediacy, thanks to technology. I suggest getting an email in your guest’s inbox within 36 hours of her visit.
FRIENDLY – Your follow up needs to reach out in a warm, personal way. Make your guests feel valued as individuals, rather than sending them something that resembles a mass form mailing. At The Journey, we send a handwritten note from me (or that week’s teaching pastor), along with a small, relevant, free gift within 96 hours of a guest’s visit. Handwritten notes seem to find their way to the top of everyone’s mail pile!
FUNCTIONAL – Follow up with your guests in a way that meets them where they are. Be simple and straightforward. Use the opportunity that follow up gives you to extend a clear invitation for them to come back to your church. I mentioned the free gift… you might include a $4 gas card and say something in the note like, “We’d love to see you again. This trip is on us!” Be creative!
This Christmas, God will bring millions of unbelievers into our churches. We can either let the opportunity to influence them with his truth pass us by, or we can make some decisions now that will help us reach them effectively.
Let me challenge you to make this the year you focus on non-Christians at Christmas. Enjoy the celebration of our Lord’s birth but while you do, make sure you do your part to introduce him to those in your community who don’t yet truly understand the significance of the season.
P.S. – For more on creating a follow up system that will keep your guests coming back, check out Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members Of Your Church.
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