The following is a lesson I gave to our soulwinners at Heritage Baptist Church. This article will help you form a well thought out retention strategy and answer the following questions.
How do I get the prospect to church?
How do I keep the door open for a favorable return?
A Retention Strategy Involves Follow Through By the Soulwinner
1. Every soulwinner should have a prospect diary.
- Compile contact information about people you have met who are receptive to the Gospel.
- Include the names of saved people you would like to see become faithful to church.
- Use your diary to record the attendance of your prospects.
- Use your diary as a prospect gathering tool—other possible family members, neighbors with similarities.
2. Every soulwinner should pray for prospecting discernment.
Categorize your prospects as:
3. Every soulwinner should be committed to prospect development.
- Set a goal for “x” number of people you will attempt to bring to church.
- Use the law of averages to determine how many people you need to speak to in order to develop one prospect.
- Invite the prospect to church, or to a life stage specific fellowship.
- Offer to provide transportation within the church guidelines.
- Go back within a reasonable period of time while you are still fresh on their mind.
- Be aware of special church events that can be an extra incentive to invite people to attend.
- When the prospect is either “lukewarm” or “hot,” the first thirty days are important for laying a foundation for a favorable return.
- Let them know that you will be praying for them and that you will ask your pastor to pray for them.
- Ask your prospect to let you call or email them about attending the church services.
“What time are you normally available from work or school?”
“Can I make a phone appointment with you at “______” this coming “_________”?
- Plan your soulwinning visits so that you can visit a prospect at the end of your visitation time.
- Keep materials with you that you can use in your follow-up visits. For example, Done by Cary Schmidt is an excellent book for an unsaved person.
- Determine to be a friend to your prospect.
A Retention Strategy Involves Follow-up By the Soulwinner
1. Recommended follow-up timelines
- Cold prospects—once every 60-90 days
- Lukewarm prospects—once every 14-28 days
- Hot prospects—once a week
- Telephone or email
“I was just checking in to see how you and your family are doing. How can I pray for you this week?
“Can I share a wonderful Bible promise that will encourage you this week?” Then share something about God’s love or comfort for the sinner.
- In person
“I was in the neighborhood, and thought I would drop by to let you know I have been praying for you. How can I pray for you this week?”
“I was in the neighborhood, and thought you might enjoy reading this book.”
“I was in the neighborhood, and wanted to let you know about a special Sunday we are having. Would you be my guest?
“Can I invite you to enroll in the ________ class to help you get a better understanding of what we have been talking about?”
“Can I invite you to enroll in our adult Bible class? We are currently studying ________.”
A Follow-up Visit Should Always Involve a Fruit Inspection
1. If your prospect is unsaved:
- Has the person given thought to what you shared with him?
- Review the consequence of sin, the reality of separation from God, the gift of salvation, the guarantee of eternal security, etc. Consider using Bible verses you have not shared with them before. For example, James 1:17-18; I Pet. 1:3-5.
- Ask them why they do not feel they are ready to be saved. Try to scripturally, but lovingly, diffuse their objection.
2. If the prospect has an unclear testimony of salvation:
- Ask them, to the best of their remembrance, if they truly asked the Lord Jesus to save them. Show them verses on salvation and ask them to verify if they were saved in compliance with the Scriptures.
- Ask them what they think God expects them to do as the next step. Then show them the following verses:
- You must be firm but polite in helping to scripturally refute false ideas and traditions the person is holding onto:
Church membership/attendance does not save.
Baptism or any religious rites/observances do not save.
Good works do not save.
You cannot be saved and remain in the Catholic church.
You cannot be saved and remain a follower of Hinduism, or any other religion.
“On a scale of 0-100% how sure are you that Heaven will be your eternal home?”
“You might be a Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, or any other “brand,” but are you really saved?”—John 1:12-13
- If the person is procrastinating, ask the following:
“What is the difference between being saved now and being saved later?
“What does your work schedule have to do with getting saved?”
- Most people confuse “conversion” with “commitment.”
- Most people confuse “church attendance” with “Christ acceptance.”