The most effective form of evangelism is inviting guests to church services. More are saved this way than any other way. So church members should be encouraged to invite family, friends, acquaintances and co-workers whenever possible, and such special services should be regularly planned to make these invitations easier and more attractive.

Hopefully, your church had a wonderful Christmas season with lots of unsaved guests. Now is when your guest follow-up system is critically important.

Less than five percent of guests receive the Spirit the first time they come. Most come 5-7 times before they make a move to the altar or baptistery. So your goal is to encourage your holiday guests to return.

Guest follow-up begins with good guest reception. Lot attendants, doorkeepers, hostesses and ushers help to make their visit memorable. The goal of the hostess is to give them a guest packet and to have them complete a guest card. One effective way is to have the card filled out by the hostess, asking them the needed information. Most people respond well to questions if told why the information is needed (i.e. “We would love to add you to our mailing list to let you know about upcoming events”). Once the card is complete, the guest is introduced to an usher to seat them by family or friends or a quality location reserved for guests.

A good guest follow-up program typically includes a simple phone call within 24-hours (“Pastor asked me to call and thank you for coming”), a letter within three days (try to make it personal), and an at- home visit within seven days. During this short visit, give them a small gift (a tin of homemade cookies works well), a flyer inviting them to your next special event, and an offer to share any prayer requests with your church prayer team. Also, putting them on your church mailing list is a must. It goes without saying that every past guest should be invited by mail to every special event.

Church guests are your best prospects. Make every effort to encourage their return. If you would like more details on setting up a successful guest follow-up ministry, including needed job descriptions, call (317) 781-7712 or email tmassengale@apostolic.edu.

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