It’s a blessing when you get visitors coming to your church. If you are going to be successful at turning those visitors into members, there is one very important thing that has to happen: You have got to have a way to get their contact information! This is not an easy thing to do in the 21st century; people do not want to be bothered. They certainly don’t want you showing up at their house later in the week.
If you are going to succeed in this endeavor, you are going to need a good plan, and you are going to have to work that plan. The Plan needs to involve a thing we call the connection card, or welcome card.
The connection card serves as a place to get information from visitors but, also, a place that gives information about the church. How about prayer requests? This is a good place to get them.
Here are some things that must happen with your connection cards in order to maximize their effectiveness:
Teach people how to use it.
During your welcome time on Sunday morning, make sure that you pull the card out of the bulletin. Tell people what it is and what you want them to do with it. It’s not enough to just draw people’s attention to it; you have to train people how to use it. Consider offering visitors a free gift for turning in the card. According to experts, behavior that is rewarded is often behavior that is repeated.
Make sure everyone knows everyone fills it out.
That means everyone, visitors, regular attenders, choir members, everyone! This is key, because nobody wants to stand out, so if visitors see that this is what other people are doing, they will be more likely to do it too. It’s like standing up and sitting. If a visitor sees everyone standing, they are probably going to stand too. If they see everyone sitting, they are probably going to be sitting too. When it comes to new places, no one wants to be the outsider, and no one wants to feel like they don’t know what they are doing.
Make sure people know what to do with them.
Okay, so they filled out the card. What do you want them to do with it? Everyone puts the card in the same place every week. For most churches this means people put them in the offering plate as it goes by. For others, you might have an offering box or possibly some other method. Whatever you want people to do with them, make sure that you let everybody know that’s what they are supposed to do with them! (Re-read Teach people how to use it, if you don’t understand what I’m getting at.)
Now is a great time to be thinking about getting visitor information, because Easter is almost here! On Easter Sunday, God is going to bring people to your church that do not have a church home or possibly never regularly attend church. Let’s do everything we can to be prepared for the people God is going to send us!
How does your church use a Connection card or visitor card? Join the conversation by leaving a comment! We’d love to hear from you!