Win Arn put out a ratio book long ago, to effect of 1 of 5 first-time guests return on average. Of those who come back a second time, 1 of 2 eventually stick
Our first impression is that churches who do assimilation best:
1. Respond within 24 hours to sign ins.
2. Have multiple entry points
3. Offer a sequence of events (meet-the-pastor dessert, followed by discovering-our-church class, followed by ministry-fair overview, etc.)
4. Are relationally focused
5. Have a staff member focused on making sure system works, from first visit until connected in a group.
6. 40% of their visitors eventually join.
7. Follow up the first contact with a handwritten note from the pastor inviting them to return next Sunday to hear a message on …… actual title.
8. Some churches are now sending a Fedex package to first time visitors.
Based on that criteria, some good examples might be:
– Saddleback (Rick Warren)
– Fellowship Bible (Robert Lewis)
– Church of the Resurrection (Adam Hamilton)
From a member of the advanced forum
Our follow up on first time guest is very thorough. We track every contact through a staff secretary charged with record keeping of all contacts of members and guests. Each first time guest to our worship experiences receives:
1. A hand written note from me.
2. A personalized welcome letter from our Evangelism Pastor.
3. A phone call from a lay person welcoming them to Grace Church.
4. A follow up phone call from our Evangelism Pastor if they are a “hot” prospect.
5. A coffee mug and muffins delivered to their home to these “hot” prospects.
From another member
It’s pretty extensive and our indicators are impressive to guests. We average about 10-15 first time identified guest families per week. About half make the “hot” prospect list. We track all this contact work using Shepherd’s Staff software. Kate Painkin in our office is the Membership Secretary who inputs all this contact work. I do not know what percentage actually become assimilated into our fellowship. I would assume based on the amount of new servants we see, the figure is pretty high.