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5 Ways To Retain Christmas Visitors

5 Ways To Retain Christmas Visitors

An impression is pensive. An experience is immersive. This Christmas season, you’ll be working around the clock to create a personalized ministry experience for everyone walking onto your campus- members and guests alike. The church has a lot to offer the community, and you want to attract people to Christianity in the days, months, and years ahead. Take a look at these 5 ways to retain Christmas visitors that have been compiled with the purpose of intentional connection. 

Who is your visitor? 

If you want the opportunity to learn more about your guests, welcome, acknowledge, engage, and be willing to pray for them before they leave campus. Following up with Christmas church visitors will be key, so make sure you have connected with them in a meaningful way. Is there a card they could fill out, or did they check in to the children’s ministry? What about coffee hour? Have you considered handing them a pocket-size card or bookmark with your church name and phone number, along with a personalized handwritten message to include your name and contact information? Get creative and get to know them!

Be authentic.

 If you want to grow and create space for the community to join your church, it will definitely require a team effort to cultivate an inviting environment. Equip church members to take on leadership roles in getting to know visitors and building relationships. If your church excels in family activities and outreach, then encourage children to be on the welcoming team with their parents. If it’s primarily college-aged students, fill the narthex with university banners and gear. To get Christmas service visitors coming back, remember that people are drawn to people; and if they cannot identify with your congregants, they’ll identify and connect somewhere else. Your church will not meet every person’s checkboxes, and that is okay. Be thankful that each church has a unique mission and vision that differentiates them from the neighboring church two streets over, and trust that God will be glorified!

Adding value is how you turn Christmas visitors into returning visitors. 

Go above and beyond to partner with ministries that mutually benefit and support other churches, ministries, and schools (for example) with nothing in return. The shift is being made from church-building to Kingdom expansion, which also builds your church and expands your influence and impact. A church visitor views this as community outreach and living outside of oneself, which might be how they discovered your church to begin with. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves, and finding value in assisting others is a great way to satisfy this need. 

Communication should inspire people. 

Build up your social media presence and your website. This is where people go to check out restaurants, so you better believe they’ll look up your church this way, too. Is your outdoor signage inviting? Is the content in your church bulletin twelve pages long? Do you use media during your service? What exactly are you communicating from the pulpit? Is it clear, interesting, and actionable? The goal of the information is transformation. If your sermons and churchwide messaging are not inspiring people to grow, change, and experience God, it’s missing the mark. 

Make it easy for them to join into the life of the church with a clearly defined path. 

The next steps can be daunting to do alone, but changing up your lingo to “Connect with us” or even better, “We want to be connected” articulates that what comes next- new members class, Sunday School, small groups, outreach, events, etc.- can all be done together. The connection path is a double win as it simplifies retaining Christmas church visitors  from an administrative and shepherding pov as well – once they’ve been added into your ChMS:

  • Set automated triggers for following up at predefined process steps and create system-initiated actions at activity completion to ensure people are never left waiting but keep moving forward. 
  • You can define and oversee the steps, activities, and outcomes and distribute specific roles to the right people while maintaining control, management, and insight.

It’s all about using what God has given you to truly connect with your guests so they leave having the experience of a lifetime. Remember that our most important tasks this holiday season boil down to this: Loving God and loving people. If we can do all the other stuff with a smile on our faces and love in our hearts, God will bring the people, and they’ll want to stick around. So, do the work and be kind, and you’ll be well on your way to providing a fantastic guest experience to retain Christmas visitors at your church.

As the Vice President of Marketing for ACS Technologies, John is responsible for Marketing’s overall corporate strategy and direction. Storyteller, promoter, and problem solver to churches of all sizes and shapes. John has traveled the world working with prominent non-profit ministries. He also serves on the board of directors for Dayspring International.

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