When God guides a visitor to your class, He is entrusting you with a very precious gift. He is giving you the responsibility to follow up and care for this person’s interest in growth. Making follow up visits is key to encouraging growth!
The first thing I do is review their connection card (what they fill out when they visit). I usually do this on Sunday afternoons. I see where they live. I see whether or not we got their phone number, email address, etc.
On Monday morning, I write them a handwritten note, thanking them for being our guest. In this note, I express gratitude for their visit and then invite them back for the next Sunday. I enclose my business card in this letter with my contact information. You could also include a church brochure or information about the series you are currently teaching through.
On Monday afternoon, I email them and thank them for being our guest and invite them back through that medium as well. I also make a personal call and thank them for coming. While on the phone, I try to set an appointment for when we could get together that week. The phone call usually goes something along these lines: “I just wanted to call and thank you so much for being our guest in His Design on Sunday. It was such a delight to have you with us. I was wondering if you had any time this week to get together. I would love to get to know you better and to share with you all that God is doing in our class and church.” I typically try to set appointments for Tuesday evening, but I will go WHENEVER they can meet.
When I go to make the visit, I always take something with me. I usually take a Bible, a book entitled First Steps for New Christians, and a baptism brochure. The reason I take these resources with me is that I go prepared to lead them to Christ during the visit.
At the visit, I begin by thanking them for being our guest. If you’ve started noticing a pattern of my thanking guests for coming, you’ve caught on. I want any guest that visits my class to be convinced we are grateful and excited they came!
After I thank them for attending, I ask them how they heard about our church and class. Do they have any church background? If it is a couple, I ask how long they have been married. Any children? How long have they lived in the area? Then, I will ask if they had any questions about our church and class. I will invite them back and tell them what we are planning for the next Sunday and seek a commitment from them to be in attendance.
Lastly, I generally conclude with: “I am so glad you visited with us, and I am looking forward to having you back this Sunday. But even more important than going to church is to know where you will spend eternity. If you were to die today, if you were to face eternity, do you know for sure where you would spend eternity?” If they say “no,” I ask if I can show them how they can know for sure from the Bible. If they say “yes,” I ask them how they know. If it is according to the Bible, I congratulate them. If their answer is not according to the Bible, I ask them if I can share with them what the Bible teaches.
After they receive Christ as Saviour, I give them some verses on assurance and then I ask them this question, “On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being great and 1 being bad, what kind of a Christian would you like to be?
Usually they will respond with an 8, 9, or 10. I will commend them on their desire to grow and then ask if I can help them with reaching their goal. They always say “yes” to that and that is when I give them their Bible (I write their name in it and that day’s date to help them remember their decision). I also give them the book, First Steps for New Christians and a baptism brochure. I explain the resources and encourage them to work through the First Steps for New Christians book and to read through the baptism brochure. I tell them to call me if they have any questions as they work through these discipleship resources.
I have learned that Satan fights new believers aggressively, and I cannot be with them to encourage them 24/7. But I can give them a copy of God’s Word and encourage them to be in the Bible every day to begin their growth.
I pray something shared in this post is a help to you as you continue to follow up and be good stewards of those who God has led your way.
What else do you do in follow up? I would love to hear from you!