The membership retreat was very beneficial. I suggest you get a team of disciples passionate for follow up and take them on a retreat. Every church needs to strategize out how it will follow up on visitors and new members. We focused on new members. We have 6 of us who will follow up on our new members. We discussed the priority of community in the church and its benefit to new members. So we kept it simple.
We will assign two new members each week to a person on the team. Along with the membership letters we send out in our 60 day strategy, we will get personal. What personal means is we will make at least one phone call a week to the new member. We will reinforce the personal contact with email, text message, Social Media (My Space and Face Book), and hand written notes. Each person will decide how to make the connections based on his or her style and personality. Our goal is to eat with the person or do coffee at some point. This may or may not happen, but our goal is to make the attempt.
The connection point will be to coach the new member to our new members class (Membership Connection) and to a Sunday School Class. We want to love on new members and get them connected. We are hoping the personal touches will help facilitate new members entering the transformation zones of the church.Each of us will keep a new member for 4 weeks. We plan to meet in the month to report and rejoice on our efforts.
The church in Acts was strategic (Acts 1:8). I recommend you lead your church to follow up on new members with intentionality. Most US churches see people join only to not have a process for connecting people. I wish I would have learned the nuts and bolts to follow up earlier or in seminary. I did learn the principles. I think what was missing was a church structure that allowed follow up to be natural and effective. What should you do? Develop a strategy to make disciples. Look closely at the things at the start of the membership flow.
1. Are you using a system of letters?
3. Calls from a staff person
4. Text Message?
What do you do if a person doesn’t come to your membership class? Develop your strategy beyond the first opportunities. There must be an ongoing plan for follow up.
More to come later.