• Target Audience—Visitors
#5. Target Audiences: Visitors
The fifth in a series that will attempt to help you deal with some of the issues you face in relating to various constituents in your children’s ministry.
This is one of the most significant ways to grow your program and ministry to children. I became acutely aware of visitors when I was beginning my career in ministry when new interim pastor came on staff at my church. Every Sunday afternoon, after his nap, he would make phone calls to visitors to attempt to set up an appointment to visit. Some times he invited me along and I observed his methods. I watched him add to the church new converts and new members, even while we were without a Pastor. This impressed me so that I started doing it too. It began working. I was leading people to Jesus, adding new members, even got some commitments for baptism. He coached me on how to work with visitors. This is where it started.
So if you want to improve your focus on visitors, here are my Ten Tips:
1. Develop a system to track visitors among the children and/or families, noting who brings them.
2. Go out of your way to introduce yourself to a visitor. Learn their name and use it right away. Learn something interesting about them. Try to find something that you have in common, even if it is the friend who brought them.
3. Develop an overall procedure on how you will work with visitors and work the plan. This is called an assimilation plan. It is the plan that shows how a visitor becomes an adherent—the steps leading to becoming a member.
4. Create welcome kit, bag, box, envelope or something that you can present to the children in the presence of their family. It should include a good promotional flyer with your menu of program options for the children to be involved.
5. Determine how children are included in the adult visitation or follow-up program for families.
6. Try your best to understand how these visitors were brought into your ministry. This person may be the key person that will offer the invitation for their return.
7. Assign the visitor to someone else in the program that can befriend them or “show them around” or “introduce them to friends.” Use your hospitable-friendly members to help you.
8. Make an effort to visit them at home, once you have met the family and know where they live. Do a drive by, to see if the children are playing outside with their friends. Contact the friend and learn more about them.
9. Have a plan in class how you recognize the visitors. Orient your teachers and make them accountable to work the plan, so you get the information on all visitors. Make every effort to get preliminary registration information.
10. By all means begin seriously to pray for visitors for your children’s ministry. Be sure you are ready for them, because they will come.