By God’s grace, each week we have loads of guests attending our Worship Services and Life Group gatherings. We are convinced that our “way of life” impacts how we view and care for guests. The guest services process is an essential tool that helps provide people with a personal connection to the body of Christ.
As outlined in a preview post, one of the ways in which we help guests make a connection at Warren is through a personal telephone call. Each week Warren Staff Members and Life Group leaders make personal phone calls to those who complete our Communication Piece in the Sunday worship guides. History has shown us that a personal invitation given through a phone conversation has a significant impact on a guest’s decision to connect in with our church.
But making these initial phone calls doesn’t come easy for most of us (myself included). We’re not salespeople or telemarketers by trade; we’re engineers or doctors or educators or manufacturers. Take heart: guests share their contact information because they want to connect in! So we’re not making ‘cold calls’ we’re making ‘connection calls’—helping people connect in to a way of life centered on Jesus.
So how do you make a successful connection call?
- Be intentional. Pray before making your call.
- Be prepared; don’t wing it. If that means writing a script, write a script. If that means following an outline, follow an outline. Rehearse it. Do whatever is necessary for you to gain confidence and feel prepared.
- Be inviting. Plan an appropriate function to invite your guest to. Your Life Group meeting? To join you at a worship service? Coffee? A playdate? Dinner with your family? Etc. Select the most appropriate option.
How to Make a Connection Call
- Find a relatively quiet place to make the call. We have found that evenings are often the best time to make connection calls. If you have a lengthy commute home from work, this can be a opportune time to make these calls.
- Tell the person who you are and who you are trying to reach. Ex. “Hi my name is ___. I’m a Life Group Leader at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA. I’m trying to reach ___. Is this he/she?”
- Tell the person the reason you’re calling. Ex. “I saw where you and your family recently visited us at Warren. I just wanted to call and say ‘thank you’ for visiting.”
- Ask if this is a good time for them to talk. Ex. “If I’ve caught you at a bad time, I can call you back. But if you’re available I’d love to speak with you for just a moment.”
If not, find a time to call them back.
If yes, thank them in advance for taking time to speak with you.
- Continue the conversation.
- Invite the person to be your guest. Give specific details. Ex. “I mentioned that I lead one of the Life Group communities at Warren, I would love for you to visit with us on (day of week). We meet at (time and location). If it would be easier for you, I’d be more than happy to meet you at ___ and we can go to our Life Group meeting together.”
If they agree, then plan to meet up.
If they say “no thanks”, use your discernment on what to do next. Be respectful; don’t be offended by a “no”. Maybe “no” means “let’s try another time”? Maybe “no” means, “now’s not a good season for me”? In the end, strive to be gracious.
- Thank them for their time.
What if I get a voicemail?
If you get a voicemail, that’s okay, because you’re prepared! Leave a voicemail that identifies who you are, your reason for calling. Tell them a specific time which you will try to reach them again. Ex. “Hi my name is ___. I’m a Life Group Leader at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA. I saw where you and your family recently visited us at Warren and I just wanted to call and say ‘thank you’ for visiting. I’d love to follow-up with you so I’ll try calling tomorrow at ___ AM/PM. If you get an opportunity before then and would be able to return my call, please call me at ###-###-####. Thank you!”
If after that second attempted call you still receive a voicemail, don’t lose heart. I often leave another message with different details. Ex. “Hi my name is ___. I’m a Life Group Leader at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA. I had left a voicemail yesterday and it looks like I’ve missed you today also. I wanted to invite you to connect with our Life Group at Warren. You provided the church with an (email or mailing) address so I’ll just send you a note there with more information about our Life Group and a personal invitation to join us when your schedule allows. I hope to connect with you at some point in the future!”
Every contact represents a real person. Over three-fourths of the people who choose to attend a particular church do so because of a personal connection with a friend or family member! Will you be willing to take that step and make a personal connection with a guest?
If connections is an area that you’d like to develop, please let us know. We’d love to come alongside you and help equip this area of your Life Group.