Every time I research visitor retention, I see a different set of recommendations from every single source.¬† But, the one thing they agree on is that relationships are the key to retention. If so, maybe we should take more advantage of the relationships that already exist.¬† This tip is about¬†attracting visitors who already have friends in your church.¬† A good follow-up and connection process is great.¬† But, the process’s success depends on your ability to get members to personally connect with every visitor.¬† When your members bring their friends, that part is already done.
So, how do you get members to bring friends?
If your church is like mine, there’s no shortage of leaders telling people to bring friends.¬† The hard part is getting people to listen. One of the best ways to get people to act is by using small groups.¬† Whether your groups focus on Bible study or on a mixture of study and socializing, the smaller numbers and informality of the setting make these meetings an easy place to bring a friend.¬† Your members will find it much easier to invite someone to a person’s house than to a church building. Plus, since the group is small, outreach activities can be tailored with a specific member’s friends in mind.¬† The smaller size also makes it easier to effectively encourage members to bring friends.¬† One reason few people act when you talk to them about this from the pulpit is because there are so many listeners.¬† It’s easy for every member to assume you were talking to someone else, leaving everyone off the hook. But, with a small group, everything that‚Äôs said feels like it’s being said to each person individually, increasing response.