With Christmas coming soon, your church leadership team is probably working on plans for special services. As you focus on trying to attract first-time guests, it’s easy to overlook how to get them to come back after the holidays.

Step No. 1: Decide How to Gather Guest Information

They came to Christmas services — great! In order to follow-up with them, you’ll need to figure out a system on how to gather their contact information. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that:

  • Create connect cards that they fill out and hand in during the offering or after the service.
  • Create a mobile app (an electronic connect card) specifically for your church.
  • Use a text service to have guests text a designated number to fill out an online connect card.

Step No. 2: Decide What Information to Request

It’s best to keep this step as simple as possible. Instead of asking for their life history, stick to the basics. Whether paper or electronic, your request forms should include:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Step No. 3: Record Information in Your Church Database

Next, you’ll need to get this contact information recorded into your church management system (ChMS) or other database.

If you used paper forms to collect this information, get a few volunteers to stay after each service to enter the data right away. The sooner this happens, the better — you will want to reach out to your guests before the following Sunday service.

Step No. 4: Create the Follow-up Procedure

You have their info, now what? Here are a few options:

  • Send a mass email to guests, wishing them a Merry Christmas and inviting them to come back the following Sunday. This is also a good opportunity to highlight special events you have coming up or how they can get into a discipleship program.
  • Send a mass text message inviting them to come on Sunday for a new series entitled, “<insert title here>”.
  • Did they provide a phone number but prefer no text messages? Invite these guests with a phone call.

Step No. 5: Welcome Them Back

As you plan for the services soon after Christmas, consider how to welcome guests back to church. Host them after each service with a meet-and-greet with the pastor or other church leaders. Make sure volunteers are prepared to answer questions about the church — especially those working at a Guest Services or Welcome kiosk.

Step No. 6: Pray for Your Guests

The final step is the most important one. Pray for your guests. Pray that they have a desire to come back to your church. Pray that you will be given the opportunity to water the seeds that were planted during Christmas services.

It’s easy to get distracted by Christmas service preparations that we sometimes neglect to connect afterward. That’s why being intentional about the follow-up process gives us a better chance at ensuring guests feel welcomed and wanted.