It is probably fair to say that most chapters could radically increase their size if they simply did a better job of following up newcomers. Having visitors at large group meetings is a healthy sign. It means that chapter members are inviting friends and that the chapter publicity is doing its job. How you treat newcomers once they arrive and how you follow up will communicate a great deal about your interest in them.
1. Appoint a person or committee to be responsible for follow-up.
2. Establish a goal that every visitor will receive a personal call (face-to-face) within two weeks of their first meeting.
1. Who should be responsible for follow up?
a. In smaller chapters, the executive committee should consider this one of their most important tasks.
b. A special follow-up committee can be formed, made up of people gifted in “hospitality” (welcoming people into their lives, worlds…) or “evangelistic contact” (sensitivity to people searching for God)
c. Small group leaders may be asked to follow up on visitors according to geographical location or affinity group. In this case they can also invite them to join their small group. These people involved in follow-up could also be greeters, providing continuity for visitors.
2. How to follow-up:
a. Use some effective method of getting a record of all visitors (visitor record cards, guest register, sign up sheet, registration table at entrance, etc.)
b. Phone calls, cards, and letters are helpful, but can never substitute for a personal visit.
c. The goal of the visit should be to get acquainted, show genuine interest, find out where they are spiritually, and let them know how they can get involved in the life of the chapter (e.g., small groups, training events). The intent is to care for the person, not promote a program.
d. Always leave some literature. A complimentary book, evangelistic booklet, or brochure about InterVarsity may be appropriate.
e. Keep a record of the visit and pass the information along to a small group leader or appropriate person who can cultivate a friendship.