New Year, New Guests: How to Make Effective Connections with Guests

What better way to start the new year than with an increase in the number of new people visiting our church? So far this year, we are on pace to have the most Sunday morning visitors we’ve had since 2011. Between January and February, we have already had at least 82 first-time visitors; that’s a remarkable 41 visitors per month that are joining us for worship and Sunday School! 

God is certainly at work in our community and is drawing people to our church. The entire staff has a burden for being good stewards of these guests that God has entrusted to us, and the amount of time we as staff invest in following up with visitors reflects this burden. Our ultimate goal is to make meaningful connections with every person that comes to TBC Cayce so that they will be more likely to join our community and to experience God working in their life.

Did you know there are some simple yet powerful ways you as a church member can help us in this endeavor? It’s true, but first let me explain our built-in follow up process; it works on two fronts: the staff and our Sunday School classes. 

The goal is to have our entire church working together to ensure every guest experiences the love of Christ when they are on campus.

From the staff front, we take the information cards that guests fill out and add them to our church database. From there, we assign individual staff members to contact these guests and follow up with them. Our staff has had some really great conversations with guests this way, and through this we help to guide them towards a Sunday School class that might be a good fit for them.  We also send them a card from our staff along with an information packet about our church.

From the Sunday School front, the follow up process is carried out through a program called REACH. Each guest is assigned to a Sunday School class as a REACH contact. The next week when the class meets, the REACH assignment is handed out, and someone from that class reaches out to that guest through either a visit, phone call, email, or a card. Again, the overall goal is that our entire church works together to ensure that each and every guest who comes onto our campus experiences the love of Christ through relationships and interaction with our members, along with Worship and Bible study.

We are asking that you help us as a staff do a better job of assimilating our guests into the body of our church. You can help us several ways: 

1. Participate in REACH.

If you’re not already in a Sunday School class, we can help you get plugged in to one. From there, your leader will be able to show you specific steps you can take.

2. Keep an eye out for guests. 

As you’re walking around campus on Sunday mornings, be aware of any new faces. Go out of your way to make guests feel welcomed.  In a survey conducted during our most recent Discovery class, we found out that one of the biggest contributors for guests returning to worship with us the next week was that they were welcomed or engaged with by four or more of our members. 

3. Pray throughout the week. 

Praying for visitors before they even arrive on campus may not feel like a "tangible" action, but here at TBC Cayce we believe that prayer truly is powerful.

4. Volunteer to be a greeter.

Every Sunday morning, we have a team of greeters that officially welcome members and visitors on to campus. If you have a positive attitude, we'd love to help you get plugged in as a volunteer greeter. Contact the church office for more information: 803.791.0440

5. Put yourself in a guest’s shoes.

At some point in our lives, we've all been a guest somewhere. As you interact with and see guests on campus, remember to put yourself in their shoes. Visiting a church for the first time can be hard or intimidating for some. Others are waiting to see if this is a place they can fit in. Be aware and show lots of grace.

6. Invite your friends to church. 

It’s impossible to connect with and follow up with guests if there are none, so look for opportunities to invite people you know. It's obvious many of you are already doing this, and we want to thank you for all of your effort!  

If we take the time to pray during the week, keep our eyes open while on campus, and make a point to engage with guests and show the love of Christ to them, then we will see God work in some really special ways to grow our church. Thank you for your support!

The preceding article was originally published in Volume 40, Issue 4 of our monthly newsletter, The Trumpet.