What Is Your Church Doing To Get Visitior Information?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Bro. Jeff, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. Bro. Jeff

    Bro. Jeff
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    Right now we are using a system where the "Visitor Information" card is in our bulletin. The visitor is supposed to detach it via the convienient perforated-ness of the card. The problem is they aren't doing it.

    Got any suggestions for an effective way to get visitor information?
     
  2. Hardsheller

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    I think we have to honor their decision not to divulge that information.
     
  3. terry williams

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    Somethings we have done to get information on visitors.

    The standard thing is that our pastor asks the visitors to fill out the visitor's card in the pew rack, but that is our last effort to get information on them.

    Before the pastor's plea, they are greeted by several people. If someone in our congregation notices a visitor they go and introduce themselves to them. We have several Sunday School teachers who do this and are bold enough to ask them their address so that they can send them information on when the next fellowship will be for their class (Believe it or not it works).

    Other suggestions: Set up a visitors table outside the main entrance to the church with greeters if the weather permits (inside can work just as well. Have information about your church available. If you cannot get information about them at least they will have information about you, what you believe, and what you do as a congregation.

    Have several people greet them in different areas of the church (the parking lot, at the door, in the sanctuary before the service, during the welcome time, after the service). If they see that you are warm and caring it will allow them to open up to you more.

    Just some thoughts and what we have tried that has worked for us. But, as mentioned before the decision is their's to make on giving out their information.

    God Bless,
    Terry
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    We have the detachable cards also and I'm one of a group that searches out visitors and gets names. If they are in Sunday School, we get their information there and visit them on Tuesday nights.

    In our new sanctuary, we have an information desk where each person not recognized will be greeted, asked to sign a guest book and shown to a seat or S/S, nursery, etc. We have a full committee of Greeters for that purpose. Hubby fills in and does that on a rotating basis.

    Diane
     
  5. showard93

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    In our church when a vistior comes in one of our ushers hands him a vistors card and a pen with our church name on it and aks them to fill it out and drop it in the offering plate.
    Then when our Pastor has the ushers to come and take up the tithes and offerings he tells the vistors that he isn't looking for there money but if they could please drop their vistor card in he would really appreciate it.

    Then if they say they want a visit from The Pastor he goes to visit them himself.
     
  6. Circuitrider

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    In my church we always publically recognized visitors :eek: , with the best option being someone from the church who had already met the visitor introducing them. At that time we gave them a card, packet and pen. [​IMG] If they still want to remain incognito, so be it.

    Most people who visit realize that there will be some recognition of their visit. [​IMG] In most cases they could not escape without getting a dinner invitation for the Sunday noon meal, which almost guarantees we will find out who they are. :cool:
     
  7. go2church

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    I don't use visitor cards. Don't really care for them. If they don't want to give out all their information that is fine with me. I get there name and write it down on a sheet I keep in my bible sometime later. We have a meet and greet time in our service. If they like what they see, hear or whatever they come back if not we don't go and chase them down. However I do send a note thanking them for coming.
     
  8. Taufgesinnter

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    I like the Saddleback Church model, in which it is recognized that visitors do not want to be pointed out or introduced during the service--because Americans' #1 fear is of public speaking as they don't want to be the center of attention in a big crowd. Instead, at Saddleback, every person there at church is asked to fill out a card every week. This keeps visitors from feeling singled out. The card asks visitors for basic contact information (regulars already entered into the church database only have to provide enough to be identified), whether they want to see a pastor, volunteer for something, would like info about a ministry, have a prayer request. Also, everyone is wearing a name tag that you have to be close enough to read, so visitors' tags don't make them stand out either from a distance. After attending several times, the database kicks out a list of who is new who needs a personalized name tag and it is placed in their new mailbox.

    (At my own church, a visitor stands out like a sore thumb because we're so tiny. We have greeters who may ask visitors to sign the guest book.)
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

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    Early in the service before the announcements and offering, Pastor has the ushers come to the front of the auditorium. He then askes that those who are visiting for the first time to raise their hand so the ushers can give them a welcome packet. The packet consists of an introductory Church brochure, a visitor's card to be filled out and placed in the offering plate, and a self adhesive red rosebud for the visitor's lapel. As you can see all of this is voluntary. Nobody has to raise their hand, fill out the card, or wear the rosebud (in fact many cards are returned with the rosebud still on it.).
     
  10. donnA

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    We use the same thing, we get quite a few back. We then send them a letter thanking them for coming and asking what was the first thing they noticed, and what was the best thing about their visit,and what was the worst. We do this to keep track of how we are doing and if we are treating everyone as they should be treated.
    So far it works for us, almost everyone sends back the cards, and we've only got one back that disproved of anything.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    We have a register book that passes down each pew. Everyone signs in with basic info + there are brochures and info for the taking.

    Problem? Members at the end put the book under their chair and don't pass it down the row.

    First visit gets a letter from me and perhaps a phone call. Second gets an elder visit to just welcome and share info on all the services, activities, programs.

    Third? You're part of the flock!
     
  12. Bob Farnaby

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    We have cards in the song books, a visitors book in the foyer, people actively talk to visitors ..
    usually gets sufficient information, BUT if people don't want to give it on their first visit we don't push the issue ..
    If they are meant to be here God will bring them back. Too pushy is likely to deter people rather than attract them.
    I know I'm always selective about how much info I give when I visit another church .. and the more they insist, the less i give.
    Regards
    Bob
     
  13. David Ekstrom

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    I agree with those who said that visitors don't want to be spotlighted. A greeting station is the best idea, as someone has said. Let the visitor go there and get a packet and have an opportunity to fill out a card if they so choose.
    Greeters should greet everyone, not single out visitors.
    Instead of a hard sell, the church should focus on being the kind of place visitors want to come back to. That means knowing your target audience, having excellent programs that scratch where they itch, and having a visitors packet that is attractive to your target audience, that is, looks like they look. If your target audience is young families, the packet should have pictures of young families and tell of programs for young families.
     
  14. GODzThunder

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    We are in the process of designing a new visitation program. Here are just a few of the new ideas we are are trying to install into the program.

    1. The term visitor is being changed to "first time attender" This is being done becuse wide studies have shown the term visitor to today's generation can distance a person by making them feel like they are outsiders. "First time & Second time attender makes them feel like they are accepted, something today's generation is desperately seeking.

    2. With that we are doing all we can to try to make them feel like they are part of the Church. The congregation is referred to as a family and they are made known that when they are with us they are part of that family.

    3. Prayer requests are a top priority. We let it be known that their needs are important to us and that we live to help them through prayer.

    4. We have visitor cards but instead of taking them up in offering plates we have greeters collect them. These greeters shake their hands and say a word of inspiration to them, calling them by name.

    5. A personalized thank you letter mentioning something about the person is sent. In that letter we invite the person to attend our next event or dinner.

    hope this helps...
     

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