From the time a person first steps foot in your church, you have the opportunity to communicate and trigger the discipleship process. Are you taking advantage each step of the way?

1) Visitor Follow-up

Does your church have a consistent, reliable way of collecting information from first time visitors? Whether it’s a filling out a connection card or completing a form on a check-in kiosk, get those details so you can enter them into your database and started in a workflow.

5 Communication StagesOnce you have that information recorded, what do you do with it? Starting that communication process immediately is crucial in getting them to come back. Almost 90% of visitors will return to a church if someone follows up with them that same day, but that number drops to 60% if follow-up is after the first 24 hours. It can be a letter, email, phone call, or personal visit. But make sure you are communicating.

2) Getting Connected

Once people show an interest in becoming a part of your church community, how do you make sure they get plugged in? Do you contact people who’ve been attending your church for a few weeks and let them know how to find a small group?

It’s not easy taking that kind of initiative coming into a new church—so make it simpler by outlining the process of connecting with a small group. Whether it’s an email, letter, or phone call, look at the information you know about each person and recommend a … Instruct them how to sign up on Sunday at a kiosk or through your online portal.

Once they join a group, communication within that smaller community should only increase. Encourage small group leaders to post additional resources and study materials online, share prayer requests, and engage with members.

3) Service Opportunities

As people continue along the discipleship process, they should be growing and searching for ways to use their unique gifts within the church. But they can’t help out if they don’t know there’s a need. Are you communicating those service opportunities and how to sign up?

Ask people what their talents are or where they’d like to serve. You could have a carpenter, graphic designer, and caterer all willing to volunteer their services—so find out!

4) Nurturing Discipleship

Communication shouldn’t stop once people are connected and serving—it should continue as each member of your church community grows into a leader.

Is a pastor or someone from your staff monitoring the spiritual growth and health of people? Take a look at their attendance, small group participation, giving history, and ministry involvement. Follow up with them. Pray for them. Disciple them.

5) What’s it look like?

This communication will take on a variety of forms—emails, texts, phone calls, social media—based on who you’re trying to reach, what the message is, and when they need to know. Some will be automated, while others need to be personalized.

But it’s not just about the church bombarding people with information. There should be two-way communication. Encourage people to reach out to your staff with questions, prayer requests, and needs. Look for feedback. Expect engagement.

How does your church use communication to facilitate the discipleship process?