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Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church Paperback – January 2, 2008
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He shares systems that his team have developed to make visitors to church feel less threatened and more comfortable. His systems for enhancing assimilation begin before the first visit and continue until the visitor has become settled in the church by becoming an active member.
Well written. Insightful. Innovative. Practical. Useful.
Nelson Searcy has written a simple to understand, step by step guide book on how a church should look at assimilation. I think what impressed me the most is his concept that you can't help people find Jesus Christ unless they become regular attenders at your church. Yes, it is true that a first time visitor might be drawn to Christ through the experience, but more than likely it is just the first step on the path towards Christ.
Thus if you have lots of first time visitors but no second time visitors then you are missing and opportunity to share the Gospel with people who are searching. Maybe even a better way that Searcy puts it is that God has given you the gift of a first time visitor, what are you going to do with that gift? Often times churches seem to not care about the visitor and they can tell that the minute they walk in the door. No matter how good the sermon they will never return.
Searcy states that you have 7 minutes to make a first good impression with a visitor. That means that they have formed an opinion long before they hear any music, hear any prayers or hear the sermon. So, are your greeters friendly? Are they genuine? Can a visitor easily find his way around your facility? Are they offered food and drink upon arrival? What is their experience like?
These and many other questions are answered in this short book. There are also evaluation forms and suggestions of letters that you can mimic in your process.
This is a great book, a wonderful tool. If you don't own it but want to know about good assimilation techniques then buy a copy today.
1. The guests who come through our doors are gifts from God and what we do with that gift proves how much we appreciate them. No one person who comes through our door comes haphazardly. By sending that guest to us, God is giving us the privilege of cooperating with Him to move someone forward in their journey toward Jesus.
2. All we get is 7 minutes to make a positive first impression. In the first seven minutes of contact with our church, our first-time guests will know whether or not they are coming back.
3. The four components of the pre-service will help determine whether our first-time guests will return or not. These four components are crucial in creating the first impression. They way we greet people, direct people, treat people, and seat people will make their experience with us a lasting one.
4. Creating a Communication Card is crucial, not just for us, but for our 1st time guest. This is how we can help them move from un-churched visitors to fully developing followers of Jesus. Having everyone from member to first-time time guest fill out the card is necessary to help our guests fill out their card.
5. Follow through is not optional; it's integral. Our follow-up needs to be fast but it has to be friendly and not look like some mass mailing. But it also needs to contain a gift which lets them know that we truly appreciated their being our guests.
6. When our guests return for a second look, we have won 80% of the battle because we have increased our chances that they will begin a journey with Christ. It is during this second visit that we encourage them to take the next steps and we follow-up with them again through either e-mail or snail mail.
7. A major key is to create sticky situations because if we do not connect our second time guests to others in our church, within four to six months they will be gone. Our job is to guide them in the right direction to form relationships that 10. We want to offer people service opportunities because this gives people an opportunity to connect with others as well as helping them take ownership of the church. And, as they take ownership of the church that moves them closer to church membership.
This book has been a gift from God. Thanks nelson.