These series of blogs will help you keep the people you reach.
One of the challenges churches face today is not only getting new people to attend but getting people to stick after they join and not slide off.
Would you say your church is more like Velcro (people stick) or teflon (people join and then stop attending)?
“Assimilation” is the whole process of making people feel welcome, “practicing hospitality,” showing people the love of Christ, leading them to become followers of Christ, and connecting them to the church.
Churches must be intentional in this process or we become a revolving door with as many people going out the back door as we have coming through the front door. Scripture tells us to be warm and friendly to the people we meet.
“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13
“Greet one another warmly in the Lord.” 2 Cor. 13:12
Assimilation is the process of helping people to…
Let’s take the letters V.E.L.C.R.O. and talk about how to do this.
Again assimilation is velcroing people to the church in meaningful ways where they stick. NOTE: People today are not very sticky! In Part 1, we will look at the first two letters of VELCRO:
V is for Value
As you place a strong value on guests as precious gifts from God, there are three facts you should know about guests
- Your church will not grow without guests.
- Your church will not grow if your guests don’t come back.
- You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.
HOW DO WE SHOW PEOPLE WE CARE? There are many ways but let me point out a few…
- Being Real/Genuine
- Warm handshake
- Use their name
- Listen (with ears and eyes)
- Talk in terms of their interests
- Remember their Name!
- Eye contact
- Include – do not exclude. Act like every person is a first time guest. Even your own members need a good welcome and a warm greeting
- Everyone who gives an announcement, sings, speaks, etc. should be introduced or introduce themselves
- When you acknowledge your guests, allow them some anonymity
- Teach your people to value all guests
- Every member should consider themselves to be a greeter!
- Provide a reception for guests before or following the service so they can personally meet the pastor and staff
E is for Engage
Engage your guests in such a positive Christ like way that they will come back.
Remember that the most effective way to get guests to attend your church is…Personal Invitation!
Here are the Stats on why people attend our churches.
- Special need…………………………..1-2%
- Sunday School………………………..4-5%
- Evangelistic Crusade…………….1/2 of 1%
- Church Program………………………2-3%
Wow… 75 to 90% attend because someone cared enough to invite them! I am not sure our people know the awesome power of the invitation. Train your people to do this. Rich Warren was asked once how to grow a church and he said you need to do three things…invite, invite, invite! That‘s how people get to our churches.
Lost people think the church is only for members not them. They see it as a “member’s only club.” The only way you can get into a member’s only club is for a member of the club to invite you! I know this sounds weird but that is how lost people think.
How do you get first time guests to come back so they become second time guests? Create an intentional, loving, simple follow up plan for guests.
Truth…If you don’t have a clear process for follow up then it is probably not being done. In most churches no thought or energy is spent in this process. No wonder people choose not to come back.
Seven Follow Up Ideas (Use your own creative ideas but here are some I used in previous churches)
- Quick Visit or contact (within 24 hours) with a gift. (book, bread, coffee mug, bass boat, etc.) (Sunday or Monday)
- Letter or e-mail from the pastor/church leader. (Tuesday)
- Call from the pastor/staff or church member (Friday or Saturday)
- Sunday School connection (Monday)
- Make sure the names of all family members are in the data base for follow up by appropriate persons. (children-youth workers, etc.)
- Prayer Team (Get people praying for these people and their needs)
- Don’t give up! Lovingly continue to make contact.
In Part 2 we will continue this series, looking at the letter L in VELCRO.
Until then…Keep the Son in your Eyes.