Connect with Online Visitors and New Attendees
Online visitors can come from anywhere, not just directly from within your parish. When a new person enters your church for the first time, you recognise and welcome them. Similarly, online you want to welcome and invite these new visitors to join in on your church events and get to know other members of your church leadership and congregation.
Create a Welcome Section on your Website
A Welcome section should be easy to find from your home page. Some prefer to create a Welcome/New Visitors option from the Main Menu. Others use a button that says something like “Welcome New Visitors!” on the Home page itself. Whichever option you choose, the visitor should have a specific landing page that includes all the welcome information.
Much like your church signage, make it easy for a new visitor to view your materials and figure out what your church is all about and how they can join in your services and events.
Introduce Your Church via Video
Create short videos that introduce pastors, staff, groups, and classes you offer. Create content to share your values to let people know who you are, so they can get to know your church without attending. Share these resources on your social media and website.
Craft a Thoughtful Welcome Message
Think of this as an invitation to your church and an introduction to your leadership. You can use this message to point the visitor to resources such as recordings, upcoming services, and any small groups or Bible studies that are open to new visitors.
Create a Digital Connection Card
Encourage the visitor to share their information in a simple form. You can share this form on your site as well as following each service you host on your video stream.
Recruit Volunteers and Build a Welcome Committee
Your regular congregants are ideal volunteers for welcoming and receiving new visitors. Encourage volunteers to sign up as virtual greeters. As members of your church they are your greatest advocates for what it is like to be a part of your community.
Offer a Regular New Visitor Small Group
Give visitors a chance to meet by hosting a monthly “getting to know you” small group. Invite new visitors and recent regulars to join in conversation alongside one or two of your more active attendees who feel comfortable leading a group.
When you get a new connection either via form, or in a chat of your live stream, take the time to follow up with a quick personalised message. They've taken the first step by identifying who they are. Now it's your turn to reciprocate and begin to build the relationship.