How to Connect with New Guests at Your Church!

Feb 1, 2023

In a typical church, only 20% of first-time guests will become part of the church. That number triples after their third visit! 

When someone new attends your church service for the first time, how do you connect with them? 


Most first-time guests will make a decision about your church within the first few minutes of being there. First impressions are important and lasting. One of the largest factors in connecting with new guests or pushing them out the door for good is community and personal connection. 


First, new guests must know that they are welcome and wanted. When multiple members notice them and are intentional about introducing themselves, this is noticed. The opposite is true as well, if a guest has been in your venue for more than five minutes without a single person intentionally speaking with them (a greeter saying "hi" doesn't count), they'll also notice that. 


Second, capturing their contact information and being intentional about following up with them (not just adding them to a mailing list) is another important factor. 


No one likes being marketed to. New guests don't want to be another addition to your mailing list and receive text and email spam. Instead, be more personal and intentional with new connections. 


Once you have their contact information, assign a pastor, leader, staff or member to contact them (text, call or email) and offer to meet them for coffee. By the way, this says a lot more than simply giving them a $5 gift card. 


Here are some tips: 


  • Favor community mentality rather than consumer mentality. Meaning, "See our connect desk so that we can take you out for coffee" instead of "See our connect desk for a free gift card". 

  • Be intentional and personal about follow-up. Yes, it takes time. No, you don't have more important things on your to-do list.
    The more time and effort you put into each new guest, the more they know you are genuine and actually care. By the way, what do you think ministry is about if you don't have time to connect with people on a personal level? 

  • Train your members to be intentional about getting to know new guests. Involve some of your key members in taking guests out for coffee or reaching out to them as well. And, follow up with them. 

  • Share only relevant information with them. Don't spam your new guests with emails and text messages about every event, anniversary and prayer request. Share with them only what you believe or know to be relevant to them. A single adult doesn't care about kids' events and so on. 

  • Make it easy and welcoming to capture their contact information. Connection Card Pro can help you with this and we've listed some ways below.

Capturing their Contact Info 

There are only three basic pieces of information you really need from a new guest - their name, email and phone number. The more information you ask for, the less likely a new guest is to provide any of it. You can fill in other details later, incrementally and over time.


Give your guests a reason to connect with you and to provide their contact information. If they feel welcome and wanted, they'll be more comfortable giving out their information. If they know you'd like to take them for coffee, answer their questions, or take the time to share with them what you're all about, they'll be more likely to provide their information.


Using Connection Card Pro, you can: 

  • Have a dedicated volunteer or leader use our mobile app from a welcome desk or while walking around to collect a new guest's information right away - in a personal and friendly way.

  • Display or print a QR code that guests can scan on their phone to fill out one of our Digital Guest Cards, immediately adding them to your church database. (Connection Card Pro automatically generates these, or use our free QR code generator!)

  • Use our text messaging service to provide a local (non-spammy) phone number that guests can text a keyword to in order to receive an automated reply with a link to the Digital Guest Card. 

If you aren't using Connection Card Pro yet or are looking for ways to be more efficient and effective in your ministry, sign up for our complete ChMS suite today!

Click here to learn more or setup a demo so that we can learn more about your ministry and how we can serve you best. 


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