Visitor Followup Techniques

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Paul Kersey, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Paul Kersey

    Paul Kersey
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    I recently started a new pastorate at a SBC church in a medium-sized metro area in the Midwest. We had a "trunk or treat" Halloween outreach program and received a large number of visitor cards from the attendees. I called the entire stack and, to this point, only have one visitation appointment. Granted, I had to leave messages on several, and some of the people attended other churches. I am well aware that people are generally not as accepting of church outreach efforts as they were years ago. However, I was surprised at the complete disinterest of many of these people.

    In a previous church, we would show up cold and go door to door. I considered that here. However, if people refuse to let you come over the phone, I assume they would not be happy if we just showed up. Perhaps they would be polite, but they wouldn't listen to anything we had to say.

    Again, I am new to this part of the country, and I am seeking the most effective method to reach out to these prospects. Your expertise and experience is appreciated.
     
  2. sag38

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    We are giving away a lot of inexpensive door prizes ($10 McDonald's gift cards, free car washes, free Bibles, etc.) When you call and say that they won prize and would like to bring it by their home you will find their doors amazingly come open to you.
     
  3. Salty

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    I dont think I would feel to confortable giving out a so called door prize - exp if they did not "enter". Suppose they say they will come and pick it up on Tues am?
     
  4. sag38

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    What do you mean by a "so called" door prize? They are legitimate prizes. If they filled out a registration card they were entered. If they did not enter then no chance for a prize. By the way, we are giving away a grand prize of a blue ray player. All in all we invested $200.00 in the prizes which is worth the investment of getting to visit in the homes of perspective church members.
     
  5. matt wade

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    Bribing our way into people's homes? No thanks.
     
  6. Romans7man

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    Hello Paul,
    I to am a SB member, but from Mississippi. We here don't mind folks dropping by, but I know other parts of the country are not as hospitable. Some have to "get to know you" a little first.
    I would go by and knock on doors anyway and if none came by just leave a tag on their door welcoming them to church. You may be surprised as to who might show up. And if not then at least you tried. The old saying is, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. The answer to watering a horse that does not want to drink is to salt him. If you salt a horse it will drink up gladly. We are to be salt and light.
    Don't know if that helps.
     
  7. Salty

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    very well said, Brother :thumbsup:
     
  8. sag38

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    Bribing our way into people's homes? No thanks.

    Good grief, some folks need to get a life. So, all wise and knowing outreach expert what is your answer to the op?
     
  9. matt wade

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    Well, he's already called them which is one thing I'd do. I'd probably send a letter and then also follow up with a cold visit to the house.

    Beyond that I would pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to move within my church and be on each and every church service. I'd stick to good, fundamental preaching. I'd stay far away from gimmicks like the one you mentioned.
     
  10. sag38

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    Again, you need to get a life....... I'm not going in their homes to preach. I'm going to meet a family and share with them about the church I serve and if so led, to share the gospel. By the way, get rid of your church sign and any advertising your church may do if gimmicks aren't allowed.
     
  11. matt wade

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    Do you have a problem with me personally, or are you just an angry person?

    I don't remember saying that I would go preach (as in a sermon) in their home. I would certainly make sure I shared the Gospel on each and every visit though.

    We obviously have a sign, but I certainly wouldn't call that a gimmick. We don't do advertising.
     
  12. preachinjesus

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    That's terrific! :thumbsup:

    Be encouraged and don't be discouraged. Here's my context. Every year our church gets about 1500 visitors to come through the door. (Yes, we're a large church) I send out emails and a letter for guests. Our associate ministers, depending on age category, call and follow up on appropriately assigned families. How many return emails or phone calls do we get?

    2.4%....yes, we've tracked it.

    People don't care to follow up with these kinds of things. Church doesn't mean what it used to and that's okay. It changes the context and expectation of our ministries. We need to do things differently and do things more effectively.

    Thus, we have changed our overall assimiliation (technical jargon for follow up and connection) process and have seen some amazing results.

    In our community and context door-to-door is dead and you'll get more angry people than helpful people. Also, you'll get more empty homes than anything else. People are running all over the place all the time.

    Though our contexts might be different, I'm not in the Midwest, many things are the same. Here are several things we do for follow up on a ministry opportunity like you've had:
    1. We give away door-prizes the night of the event. To register all we need is a name, email, and phone number. They are simple things.
    2. We give away one major prize for anyone that "likes" our event on Facebook or mentions us on Twitter (via something like 4square or something)
    3. We send a follow up email three days after the event.
    4. We send a final email five days later (just before Sunday) with a brief survey (takes 4 minutes) and thank them for their attendance.
    5. We post all the photos (we have a photo team) on Flick and link to Facebook and our website. Families are encouraged to go and download their pics. That's it for our follow up from the event.

    Essentially we think of major events as ways to create the first steps of connection with people who might be at a place where they are investigating Christianity. Think of it as a shopping experience, this is our big front window display. It's done excellently and shows off what matters.

    You can overkill it in follow up. You can also fail to do it adequately. We like our strategy. It works for us. Out of these events (as best we can track) we get maybe 15-20% return to one or two services. Once we get them in the door, after looking at the front window, we can do a lot more.

    Hope all is well with your ministry. You're doing great things for Jesus!
     
  13. go2church

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    Our experience is that Trunk or Treat is a safe place and way to get candy, that's about it. We have taken the attitude that it is a service to the community, if we get a prospect or family interested in the church that is a plus but we aren't expecting much along those lines.
     
  14. Paul Kersey

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    PreachinJesus,

    Your observations were very helpful and exactly the kind of feedback I was seeking. Thanks also for the encouragement. I am a product of the deep South and am currently in the midst of a significant cultural learning curve.
     
  15. sag38

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    Do you have a problem with me personally, or are you just an angry person?

    No problem with you personally nor am I angry. But, I do have a problem with your attitude about outreach. Jesus healed people to point people to Him. I guess, according to your standard, that would be a gimmick too.
     
  16. steveo

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    I think Jesus doing miracles and using signs for church info are different than using money or prizes to get into homes.
    It is just pragmatism, doing what works if the end result is good.
    Maybe I'm missing something, but like I told our church, I could get tons of people by hiring Van Halen or Toby Keith, and use it to preach to the masses, but is it biblical?
     
  17. sag38

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    Good grief!!! Are you equating giving away a door prize with hiring an ungodly rock or country group to come and perform in order to draw a crowd?
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Less than 2% of the people in my community even go to church so Im fasinated to here that you can even drum up interest......keep going, Im all ears:thumbsup:
     
  19. DiamondLady

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    I'm sorry but giving away a door prize to get people to come to church just bothers me on so many levels. Christ healed, not gave away Wendy's hamburger cards. Christ invited, not bribed...and yes, giving away a television is bribery. They're not coming to hear the gospel, they're coming to win a tv. I believe Christ would lump you in with the pharisees. Sad. Just sad.
     
  20. steveo

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    Just making a point that if its all about just getting people to respond etc, we are on a slippery slope because Ungodly bands,etc would get the crowd.
    Why didn't the bible or early church have examples of giving away cattle, sheep, gold, etc.... to get people to respond or come to church?
     

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