Set up perfectly timed, automated workflows that will help you increase church retention.
Seldom do we associate the interpersonal aspects of running a church with workflow and management systems. Building relationships, visitor follow-ups, and engaging in life-changing moments to increase church retention don’t really seem to overlap with smooth-running workflows.
However, there is a lot to say about having a workflow that helps you connect with people, notice and follow up on new people, and empower ministry leaders to do this, too.
It’s always difficult to learn that your church team may have dropped the ball on welcoming and connecting with new people. This is why we want to help you increase church retention with perfectly timed workflows. Here are 3 ways you can do this:
3 Ways to Increase Church Retention With Perfectly Timed Workflows
1. Automate your follow-up process
It’s fairly easy to hand visitors a form that asks them for their contact details. It takes a minute for them to fill it out and hand it back to you or drop it into a box. So, this is not the area you want to look at.
It’s the follow-up process that is crucial.
You’ll need someone to enter the visitors’ information into your system and from there, make sure that you have an automated system that sends messages and reminders to your new people. You don’t want to inundate them with hundreds of messages, but you do want them to know that you noticed their presence and that you’d like to see them come back to your church. If visitors feel welcomed, you’re sure to increase your church retention.Stop dropping the ball with church visitors. Set up workflows that automate your follow-up process and consequently increase church retention. Click To Tweet
Here is an example of the kind of workflow you want to implement through your system:
- Enter the contact information in your church management system (ChMS).
- Add each person’s profile to the workflow for first-time visitors.
- Send a “thank-you for visiting” text or email and include an invitation that invites them back. You could also provide details for other events they may be interested in attending.
- For visitors who checked in children, make sure you include information about the children’s ministry you provide at your church.
Follow-ups made easy: 8 Practical Ways to Use Your ChMS After Events for Outreach Follow-Up
Parents/guardians often like to find out more about children’s ministry leaders, security procedures, and your chosen curriculum. Show that you understand this by directing them to your website pages that provide this information.
2. Track attendance and follow-up to increase church retention
Everyone likes to know that someone has noticed their absence or that they’ve been missed, right? And it is wise to apply this fact to your congregation.
Increase church retention by setting up a workflow that tracks gaps in attendance and follow-up on the people who haven’t been seen in a while.
You may find that absentees have been away on vacation but you may also find that individuals are going through difficult times, which gives you the opportunity to help them through. Not everyone wants or needs the church to help them, but at the very least, you can let them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them soon.
ATTENDANCE WORKFLOW EXAMPLE
- Here is how you can use a workflow to collect attendance and run reports:
- Ask Sunday school teachers and small group leaders to take attendance at each meeting. Most management systems have a check-in feature that makes this process simple.
- Set up a report or alert in your ChMS that notifies you who has missed more than three services, consecutively.
- Create a text or email template that is sent out to individuals who have been flagged.
- For those who do not respond to the text or email, and for those who reply with serious issues or challenges, follow up with a phone call within a few days of the original message being sent out.
All-rounder ChMSs: 6 Popular Church Management Systems That Already Include Online Registration
3. Be there for big moments
Your people will experience life-changing moments that they’ll need, or want, their church family to be a part of. It can be pretty difficult to keep track of these, especially with church leaders having their own day-to-day experiences. This is why you should set up workflows that house information and facilitate serving your people when big moments have happened, or are about to happen.
Obviously, big moments can be a surprise and are, in these cases, untrackable. However, you can keep tabs on significant occasions, such as an engagement, marriage, having a baby, and adopting a child (to list only a few).Your people need their church family during life-changing moments. Avoid slipping up by setting up ChMS workflows that house information and facilitate serving your people. Click To Tweet
NEW PARENT CONTACT WORKFLOW
For example, here’s a sample workflow for new parents:
- Send a message of congratulations when someone has expanded their family (through birth or adoption).
- Inform the new parents about your children’s ministry and how children’s check-in works.
- Invite parents to participate in a baby, or children’s, dedication service with their child.
- If your church hosts parenting classes, has child-parent excursion programs, or other parent-focused events, add new parents to the mailing list of these activities so that they receive the emails and notifications for them.
Consider having a device set up after your Sunday services that allows members to notify you of big moments that have happened, or are about to happen, in their lives. On Monday morning, a team member can go through these and log them into your management system.
WELL-TIMED WORKFLOWS WILL INCREASE CHURCH RETENTION
Well-planned workflows can certainly increase church retention. What it takes is a person, or some people, on your team who are able to identify ways of connecting with congregants and then translating the needed process into a workflow that can be programmed into your ChMS.
It’s important to see your workflows as a form of ministry because they do impact your people and are key to effectively communicating with and retaining church members.