“Church growth researchers say that if a person visits your church three times in a row there is a far greater than average chance that they will stay–but don’t miss this–for up to six months. During those six months they must make at least seven significant relationships for them to stay at your church indefinitely. This is why it is critical to get them into a small group or a new member’s class, or the like. Because in the final analysis, your friendship or that of the pastor if that is not you, will never be enough to keep them there long-term.”*
Four things to give to create long term relationships.
1. Give them a call– We just worked with a church of 5,000 Sunday attendance and the pastor calls every single first time visitor on Saturday morning and every person that misses more than one month. He said it does not usually take longer than a couple hours on a Saturday and the impact is incredible.
2. Give a membership class- Make it strong. Discuss Christian world view. Go over why people believe what they believe it is your job of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry in a real world that does not believe what they believe. Cover the key points of the gospels.
3. Give them a role- Invite them to join you in the work of the ministry from helping the poor at the homeless shelter to utilizing their construction skills on the mission field get them engaged using their time and talent.
3. Give them a pictorial church directory- This is extremely helpful to putting names with faces, giving them a feeling of being connected to a larger group and helpful so they can contact leadership with questions. At church services they will feel more comfortable and connected because they know who people are and they have a helpful guide when they remember a face but forget the name.
hope this helps. -ng
*David Jackson, Blog