5 Ways to Engage Guests During the Holidays

The holiday season is when your church needs to be on the top of their game. Christmas and Easter are when churches have the most visitors. So not only do you want to make sure that the services are powerful and meaningful for attendees, but you also need to make sure that visitors feel valued and appreciated.

I’ve put together five tactics to make sure that you’re touching the lives of the people who show up during the holidays:

1. Coach your members to invite friends and family

Of course you want everyone to invite the people closest to them at the time of year when they’re most apt to come. But that’s not the only reason you want people at church inviting their friends and family. You also want the members who have friends and family attending to act as chaperones and tour guides.

You have to communicate the need for people to invite their loved ones and help them understand how to guide them through the church service. They can explain what’s going on and introduce their guests to new friends who might share similar interests.

2. Deputize people to look out for newcomers

The people who don’t have loved ones with them should be watching out for visitors who are not attached. It’s their job to create an atmosphere of warmth and hospitality. They should introduce themselves and find out a little about their visitors. If they discover and area of interest that is shared by someone else at the church, they should help make a connection between the two.

3. Get their email addresses

In many ways, this is priority number one. It’s so important, but there’s no way to do that if you don’t have a way to contact them. The great thing is getting an email address is a pretty small ask. People generally don’t have a difficult time giving out an email address.

You can use contact cards, but I’d also encourage you to train church members to ask for email addresses. It doesn’t have to be weird and awkward. It can be as simple as, “We’d really love to be able to reach out to you. What’s your email address?”

4. Provide a celebration dinner for people new to the area

There are a lot of people in your area who might have nowhere to go for the holidays. Maybe they’ve moved here for a job, are going to college, or lost a spouse. Consider putting on a holiday meal that you can invite these people to.

The meal doesn’t necessarily need to happen at your church facility—maybe one or two families can make room in their celebration for others. As people interact with visitors, inviting them to a holiday meal can be an option if they feel it’s appropriate.

5. Let visitors know what to expect in the coming months

Make sure you take some time to fill visitors in on what you’re planning for the future. The key is to not only let them know what they can expect, but to share in a way that clearly communicates what’s particular about your values and enables them to imagine themselves being a part of the exciting things you’re doing!

So let them know all about your upcoming:

  • Sermon series
  • Sunday school classes
  • Ministries
  • Outreaches

Preparing for visitors is important

You can’t expect to capture the attention of visitors and get them to return without some strategy behind how you engage them. Once you start making intentional decisions about how you deal with visitors, you can improve your ability to convert them into attendees.

To that end, download a FREE copy of the New Visitor Success Kit. It has everything you need to help get more people to make their first-time visits to your church, and get them to return. Get yours now!

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Jayson D. Bradley

Jayson D. Bradley is a writer and pastor in Bellingham, WA. He’s a regular contributor to Relevant Magazine, and his blog JaysonDBradley.com has been voted one of the 25 Christian blogs you should be reading.

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