Many families come searching for a church for the them and their kids. We need to make sure we provide an experience that lets parents know their students are safe and learning. We also need to provide an experience for students that they can be excited about.
The Experience is an integral part of helping new students connect with Jesus. As we get a new student into our ministry we need to be prepared in advance to make them feel welcome and involved.
Here are a few tips to creating The Experience:
1. Welcome new students and their families.
If at all possible make sure you get to meet and greet new families on their very first visit. If this is on a Sunday morning as it is in my church I know that for sure this family was greeted warmly and made to feel welcome if I or my youth leaders a greeting them. This provides the start of an Experience for the student and their family.
2. Help students plug in immediately.
As soon as a student enters your ministry plug them into a small group or with a group of students who can include them for the day. If you don’t have small groups meeting then this means you will need to educate other student on how to include somebody as a first time visitor. This allows the new student to see that other students are open and caring as well.
3. Follow Up!
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good follow up for visitors. Many times in my experience when I follow up with a junior high student I get the opportunity to talk to their parents again or for the first time. This is a great opportunity to answer questions and encourage involvement. Many parents respond to a church based on how excited they are for their children to be involved, so this may be the most important part of the parents experience.
This sounds simple or rudimentary, but the Experience is what will get people to go from first time visitors to regular attenders in your ministry.