The 36-Hour Email Response to First-Time Guests

“The 36-Hour Email Response is almost the same in content as the letter we put in the free copies of Unshakable, plus an intentional postscript that’s meant to make a personal connection. Sending this email accomplishes three things: It follows up on those who did not take a book or read the letter  It lets guests know we are thinking … Read More


Nelson SearcyAssimilation

Avoiding a Small Groups Roadblock

  “What if I were to tell you that the most powerful potential for your small groups lies in their ability to move people from the crowd to the congregation? What if I were to tell you that your small group system should be designed first and foremost for those who are not yet involved in it – those who … Read More


Nelson SearcyAssimilation

The 2 Things You Should Say in Every New Guest Follow-up Email

“Within a day and a half after their visit, each and every one of your first-time guests should receive an email that (1) thanks them for attending your church and (2) invites them to come back. Make sure you do both of these things. Too often, churches thank their guests for attending but fail to give them a direct invitation … Read More


Nelson SearcyAssimilation

Assimilation Opens Unchurched Hearts

“At The Journey, the crux of assimilation is also the heart of our overall mission: to give people the best possible opportunity to become fully developing followers of Jesus Christ. We know, as I’m sure you do, that the majority of people who visit a church do not come to Christ on their first visit – or their second or … Read More


Nelson SearcyAssimilation

The Importance of the Guest Table

“Some of your guests may not be in much of a hurry to duck out after Sunday service. They may want to ask some questions, get more information on specific ministries, and meet you or some of your staff. The most effective way to give them that opportunity is to designate a clearly marked guest table. During your closing remarks, … Read More


Nelson SearcyAssimilation

The Power of Reflecting God’s Love in Small Ways

“On big Sundays, such as Christmas or Easter, consider adding a little something extra to the free gift you give to first-time guests. We’ve been known to put movie tickets or ice-cream gift cards inside the Unshakable books we give as gifts. Never underestimate the power of wowing your guests. The unchurched first-timers who walk through our doors are usually … Read More


Nelson SearcyAssimilation

First-Time Guests: The 3 Things a Free Gift Should Do for Them

“Your post-service follow-up consists of the free gift you offer your first-timers and what you make available to them at your guest table. Offering a gree gift – preferably a good book – not only encourages your first-time guests to turn in their contact information, but also gives you the powerful opportunity to surprise them with something that can help … Read More


Nelson SearcyAssimilation

Assimilation Lessons from a BIG Mistake (Part 2 of 2)

In last week’s first of this two-part series, I mentioned how on a Sunday not too long ago, at one of our Journey early services, we had zero first-time guests. It’s very rare for us to have zero anything, so we began to drill down and figure out why there weren’t any first-time guests identified at this service. We have … Read More


Nelson SearcyAssimilation

The Three F’s of Follow-up

“There are three things to keep in mind as you seek to create a follow-up strategy that will bring your guests back. I like to refer to them as the three F’s of follow-up: Follow up fast. Don’t underestimate the power of a quick follow up. There is a new expectation for immediacy in our world.  Be friendly. Your follow-up … Read More


Nelson SearcyAssimilation