How to Get Information From Your First Time Guests (Assimilation)

After my bestselling book Fusion came out and thousands of churches have been helped with  The Assimilation Seminar and Intensive over the last few years, in some circles I’ve become known as a bit of an “assimilation guru.”

Now, I don’t know about the “guru” thing, but I do love the Assimilation process!

I love knowing that the church I pastor is prepared and optimized to be a good steward of the new people God chooses to send our way.

I love seeing a first time guest (or a first time guest family) come through the doors on a Sunday morning and knowing that we’ve got a proven, step-by-step plan to help them grow.

And while I’ve never met a pastor who said they didn’t want to help new people get connected to their church and grow spiritually, I have known many who weren’t willing to put in the effort to make it happen.

One of the essential elements of a well-functioning Assimilation System is using a Connection Card.

This is a card that is placed in every bulletin every Sunday, that provides a way for you to collect information from new people and encourage everyone to take next steps in their spiritual life.  You can find more info about what a Connection Card is in previous posts (click here to download a sample).

What you say matters

I’ve found that how you present the connection card each week is equally important – it doesn’t matter how good your Connection Card looks if no one is filling it out and handing it in!

So over the years at The Journey, we’ve developed a script – a proven way of introducing the card each week during the service that’s been honed, tweaked, tested, and refined (and still is) to maximize its effectiveness.

Just be very clear: The welcome/hosting time on Sunday morning is not the time for you to get up there and “wing it” or ramble through without thinking about what you’re asking people to do.

In fact, if you do nothing more than implement a well-prepared, consistent script, you can see a tremendous increase in the number of cards completed each week (and subsequently, the number of people you can follow up with).

Here’s what one of my Coaching Network Participants shared with me recently:

Hi Nelson –

Just thought I’d let you know that we went from a less than 10% Connection Card completion rate to now regularly averaging 52% completion rate.

We’re shooting for a goal of 85%, but we feel our current rate isn’t that horrible compared to where we were.

Fritz Below
Lead Pastor
Calvary Ridge Church
North Ridgeville, Ohio

If you value the people God sends your way (and I know you do), I encourage you to thoroughly think through how your church collects information from the people who attend, and put in place a system that you can measure, evaluate, and improve each and every week!

P.S. To get a copy of the actual hosting script we use at The Journey, plus more than 6 hours of audio training on Assimilation, plus more than 50 documents and files, check out The Assimilation Intensive.

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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.

Nelson SearcyAssimilation

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