Hopefully Christmas Eve was the largest attended service you had in 2023.

If you had a larger than normal crowd on Christmas Eve, praise God, that’s wonderful. Many got to hear the good news of great joy for all people, but that’s not the end of the story. It’s just the beginning. How we follow up with our guests makes a big difference in whether they will come back and hopefully get connected in your congregation, growing, serving, and giving as a faithful, devoted disciple of Christ and a new member of your church.

Here are 7 steps you can take to effectively follow up with your Christmas Eve guests.

  1. Have a detailed plan for following up on your first-time local guests. (This is it)
  2. Collect, sort, and distribute copies of the connection cards* you asked all to fill out. Have your Hospitality Team follow-up. (Pew pads don’t give you all the info you need)
  3. If you haven’t already, by the next day send a short “Thank you for coming” text.
  4. Mail a follow-up handwritten note thanking them for coming and inviting them back.
  5. On Thursday send a follow-up e-mail inviting them to your upcoming, need-meeting New Year’s message series and highlight any upcoming newcomer event. (I called mine “Pizza with the Pastor”)  
  6. On Friday or Saturday before your next service, make a phone call reminding them of your new series and invite them back to pick up the framed 5 x 7 family photo you took of them on Christmas Eve. (if they don’t answer the phone, it’s OK to leave message)
  7. Pray for and anticipate your guests to return on Sunday. When they arrive, if possible, call them by name. After they do return, invite them to lunch for the following Sunday.

Having an effective system for following up on your first-time guests will be a key element to sustained growth of your congregation in 2024.

Happy New Year!


For more tips on how to grow your church throughout the year, check out my latest book, Church Turnaround A to Z available at