NEWCOMERS & 17 Ideas How to Reach Them More Effectively

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D. and the 2017 Missional Coaches Cohort, 2/1/17.

  • Create a clear pipeline of discipleship from first visit to core group.
    • Make sure you have a volunteer “First Impressions” or “Guest Services” team
      that is easily identified and easily accessible
    • Highlight/announce a connection card to be filled out by guest and taken to guest
      services/dropped in offering basket. Consider giving a nice gift (shirt, mug, coffee
      cup, Chick-Fil-a coupon, etc.) out at Guest Central.
    • The best way to be able to follow up with new guest is to get their information!
    • Create a strategic timeline to follow up with new guests, including those
      who dropped off in children’s ministry.
    • Deploy a volunteer team to write hand written note cards and mail out to new
      guest each week. (provide the cards/envelopes, stamps).
    • Email at about week 4 to follow up with new guest inviting them to “Next Steps” in
      order to get connected- especially a specific class or outreach event.
    • Fusion (Nelson Searcy)- This book lays out a very clear assimilation process that
      you can contextualize for your church with sample communication pieces
  • Institute Small Group Events.
    • One per semester or twice annually to start new groups or get connected to
      existing groups. (September and February are great start times for these events)
    • Train potential small group leaders/hosts at a time convenient for them, and
      equip them with a guide and contact information if they need help.
    • Create a “signup” event- whether during/after services or on another night for
      congregants to view potential groups, meet the leaders/hosts, and sign up for
      one in their area or that fits their schedule.
    • A great model of this is Northpoint Church’s “GroupLink” event.
  • Meet the Pastor Dinner
    • Once per month, host a dinner and invite other pastors/staff there to highlight
      ministries, connection points, and inviting to a Membership/ownership class.
    • Divide people into small groups and have 3-5 questions at the tables for icebreakers
      (Provide name tags, pens, etc).
    • Share vision, mission, “Next Steps”, etc with guests. Allow for Q/A time.
  • 7 Touches Research
    • Research shows that new guests need to be contacted 7x to help them to better
    • Some options include: Parking Lot/Sidewalk greeters, Guest Services for adults
      and at Kids check-in, Auditorium Greeters/ushers, Connect Card/Guest Services
      Gift, Letter/Call from pastor on Monday, Email from Assimilation/Guest Services
    • Team with next steps opportunities coming up, Personal handwritten note card
      mailed out a week later, One month follow up.


C3 Intl. Inc., Church Change Consulting Inc. © Bob Whitesel DMin PhD & #PowellChurch