You had a great Easter service. The church was packed. People committed to following Jesus, and others who were already saved indicated an interest in returning.
Great. So now what?
Follow up to a big event is frequently the most difficult portion of the event. Church members are gung ho about planning and executing the event, but the event itself often becomes the end game. In reality, for a church to grow and increase its ministry in the community, the follow up becomes the beginning.
Follow up assumes that you had a way to obtain information from the visitors. Surprisingly, this is something churches forget to do, especially if it is a non-worship service church event.
Make a follow-up plan. Ideally, this will have been in place prior to the event. Process and evaluate the visitor information quickly. How you proceed will often depend on the number of and quality of the responses.
Respond quickly to conversions. If a person indicated that they gave their life to Christ, make plans to meet with them as early as possible, within the week. Decide who will make the visits, whether the pastor handles them all or a team of leaders divides them up. Repeat the plan of salvation to make sure they understand what they’re committing to. Make clear that committing their life to Christ does not automatically mean they are committing to your church.
Send additional information. This can be through email, if they indicated they are agreeable to receiving emails, or through the post office. With snail mail, you can include a brochure, information about service times (especially if the Easter service was at a special time) and ways they can begin to get involved in the church. Make sure to include contact information if they have questions, concerns or prayer requests.
Home visitation. This should be a set appointment time, not an unannounced visit and should happen within the first two weeks. Depending on the number of responses, you may need a visitation team to meet with the visitor, although many people prefer a visit from the pastor. Keep the visitation to 30 minutes or less and use it as an informational time – both to give information and to receive information. Spend time listening. Don’t ask for any commitments to the church, simply show that you care. Take prayer requests and pray for them before you leave.
Follow-up again. A few days after a home visit, send a postcard (or email if they’ve agreed to that) thanking them for their time, reminding them what you’re praying for them and contact information for further questions. If the visitor seemed agreeable to another meeting, especially if they were undecided about making a commitment to follow Christ, seek another home visit.
Welcome them back. When the visitorsreturn to church, make sure to greet them warmly. Ideally, you can call them by their names. This creates a sense of family and increases the desire to commit to the church.