Outreach Seminar: Creating a Church that Connects and Integrates Visitors

This session is for those who are looking for practical tools that will greatly increase visitor assimilation in their church. Gain insights from a leading authority on assimilation in a concise presentation that provides practical “lessons learned” and “best practices” from fifteen years of working with thousands of churches.

You will learn:

* 7 Laws of Assimilation with associated principles
* Best practices and lessons learned in assimilation.
* The big picture of assimilation

Church Assimilation SoftwareSpeaker: Allen Ratta
CEO, ConnectionPower.com
Bio: Allen has been highly effective as the senior pastor of a rapidly growing church for many years and a successful Christian businessman. Allen continually developed, implemented and modified the Visitor Touching and Tracking System in the church he pastored. It was a key to their growth from 17 to over 1200 in average weekend attendance. The Visitor Touching and Tracking System was also utilized by thousands of churches around the country with very positive results. He has most recently completed program design and beta testing on a robust web-based version of his visitor retention methodology that is being enthusiastically received as a cutting-edge tool for significant church growth.

5 Signs of a Good Church Health
They understand their purpose
They understand Ministry Processes
They achieve purposes thorugh processes
They know how to develop and implement good processes
They know how to troubleshoot and improve ministry processes

Ratta says all churches have an assimilation process, it is whether it is effective (healthy) or not. ConnectionPower provides a tool to assess your church assimilation of new visitors. They recommend people set-up Guest Centers and give visitors increasingly more valuable gifts when they visit to capture information. They also offer an online ‘church growth calculator‘ to determine where your church is growing toward.

The Seven Laws of Connection (with new visitors)

Law #1 Visitors represent 100% of your church’s growth potential
Law #2 Visitor Retention is beetween 10 to 20 times more significant thatn visitor volume
Law #3 It takes people to reach people
Law #4 Set expectations and meet them
Law #5 Be proactive to connect people
Law #6 it takes time to connect with people
Law #7 Listen to your visitors feedback

Other tidbits:

Visitor retention rate is highest when you follow-up with visitors w/in 48 hours.
Retention rates of a first time visitor is 34%, 2nd time visitors 51% and 3rd time is 78% in fast growing churches.

The THREE major Exodus periods for visitors
Based on a study of 9,000 visitors.

1. Weeks 1-6 The ‘honeymoon‘ phase when people first visit the church.
2. Weeks 21-33 The ‘do I fit‘ phase when people determine whether they feel connected and have made friends.
3. Weeks 42-54 The ‘fulfullment‘ phase, will I get my spiritual needs met and have meaningful involvement?

CONCLUSION

This seminar was mainly a platform to sell their web-based software. Much of their program is created from techniques and Purpose Driven Church models. There are things I believe can help a church, if they tailor things to fit their particular context. (EDIT: As long as whatever method is done first lines up with scripture, second is done with a correct heart/motivation and third that we trust God. The last thing we’d want is churches trying to market/package techniques for their own glory in growing a really big church. That is a total rejection of the gospel.) You can see more on their website at ConnectionPower.com

EXTRA read Ekklesia’s Church Assimilation Method

8 Comments
  • Chris

    November 7, 2005, 6:42 pm

    I estimated Kaleo’s attendance and plugged it into the growth calculator… I hope we are ready for the 500 person congregation it said to expect in 2 years!

  • Marcguyver

    November 7, 2005, 9:47 pm

    Whatever happened to the, “Worship our Creator” phase
    and then the, “Preach the Word of God” phase???

    Is corporate Christianity flooding every aspect of the American culture?
    I’m sick to death of our ‘Houses of Worship’ looking more and more like a giant corporation on Wall Street and less and less like the early church that grew by leaps and bounds during the reign of demagogues like Nero. Last I read they were adding 3,000 members in a day…..wonder what their secret was.

  • D. Goodmanson

    November 7, 2005, 10:29 pm

    Marcguyver,

    Yes there is much to have a ‘gag reflex’ about. I felt very uncomfortable with some of the methods that were presented. I guess the question is, how do you show hospitality, love and welcome visitors. Bottom line is our church wants to do this w/o the corporate feel. Do you think that this is a matter of what you do or the heart behind it? For example, designating people to greet/welcome new people. Is that corporate or is it a method based on wanting to love people?

    Of course if we really want to look like the Acts 2 church, looks like we’ll all need to sell our stuff and give it to the communal needs.

  • D. Goodmanson

    November 7, 2005, 10:32 pm

    Chris,

    We’ll see what God brings, whether we shrink to a dozen, plant 10 churches or grow to 500. I just want to see people saved and giving glory to God.

  • Marcguyver

    November 9, 2005, 11:28 pm

    Mr. Goodmanson,

    I agree that the heart is a huge factor! I actually wrote about this in a piece on my blog called, “Is this Church?” If you have the time I’d love to hear what you think. I too mentioned the whole ‘have to sell everything and lay it at the apostle’s feet’.

    I don’t have a problem with finding ways to reach people, but I just think that a lot of what is going on now is more motivated by ‘numbers’ and ‘successfulness’ instead of being genuinely concerned about saving the lost and meeting with God. In the words of Hank Hannegraff, “Are we becoming more interested with what’s on the master’s table and less interested in the master himself?”

    Churches over seas thrive and grow dang near exponentially (I last hear that China is converting over 30,000 Chrisitans a day) and see many miracles that we dream for and they meet on dirt floors with no AC, nurseries, Sound Systems, etc.

    I think it’s wise that you seem to be gleening from these meetings what you can but doing so with enough wisdom to throw out what is purely ‘business oriented’.

  • Ron McManus

    March 25, 2006, 5:01 am

    Please subscribe me to this newsletter.

  • Kyle Zwiep

    May 19, 2008, 12:48 pm

    Integration of the church to the degree seen in the 2nd Chapter of Acts, I believe, happens first in small, grassroots movements.

    We’re attempting to accomplish this in a way that is basically antithetical to the whole “corporate church” notion.

    Nonetheless, it’s valuable and, in fact, necessary for Christians to be savvy in all disciplines. We are told, “Be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves…”

    TheCommon.org is our new attempt at moving the church away from corporate, toward “Sharing all things in common,” and little-by-little affecting change in the world.

    We would love the opportunity to be a part of the Outreach Seminar, and I believe us to be fit candidates to meet some of the challenges lain forth.

    Please let us know if you’d be willing to consider us. To learn more about us, you can visit: https://thecommon.org and http://emergingchurch.info/stories/commons/index.htm

    Thank you sincerely and many blessing to you!

  • Justin

    April 15, 2011, 5:34 pm

    Our church uses Connection Power, and since we implemented the Connection Follow Up Team, we have been growing. We do offer a gift (to first time guests), but it is not a “gift-for-information” exchange. They get the gift which is on an unmanned table and we follow up with those who turn in a card. We have everyone, including members, turn in a COnnection Card and get prayer requests, contact info updates, and ministry interests from our congregation every week.

    Our Connection Team consists of a welcome caller, and two connection partners. The role of the connection partners is to do what they church should be doing anyway – befriending our guests and inviting them to a small group. After 3 visits, a guest gets a call from our pastor. I find this is a good balance between lay and staff involvement. The staff also sends letters and emails when someone visits a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time.