When I think about big changes in my life, I think about when I moved across the country for a new job opportunity. I was very excited, but it was risky, and I had no idea what I was doing. By nature, I am not a good planner so getting ready for the move was a struggle. I just wanted to jump into the new job, get my feet wet, and go! However, if I took that mindset and just jumped, I would have ended up drowning. Luckily I was surrounded by wise people who helped me with my moving strategy. They helped me with securing a residence, getting moving supplies, and planning travel dates. Being prepared made my move much simpler which allowed me to focus on my new job, and getting to know my new surroundings.

Having a strategy for your guest ministry is vital. No one wants to fail when trying something new and big. We want to succeed and make it to the summit of the mountain! By making a plan and defining your overall goals for every guest who visits your church you are in control of the guest experience and can assure that every aspect of your guest ministry fits into your strategy. Not sure what to do to get started? Below is an example plan for a church that is starting a new guest ministry. It’s a great starting place to see what goes into making a guest ministry successful!

Guest Ministry Plan

Goal for Guests: Feel welcomed, come back for a second visit, and join a small group

Goal for Volunteers: Engage guests, give a gift, and create opportunities for relationships to start


We will be Prepared:

We will be prepared by doing the following:

Training our volunteers to interact with guests. We will have the following teams:

  1.  Parking team
  2.  Greeters
  3.  Lobby host/ushers
  4.  Welcome center
  5.  Follow-up
  6.  Coffee/snacks
  7.  Kids ministry


Preparing our space – Budget: $XX.XX

  1. Banners – Budget: $XX.XX
  2. Outdoor signage including guest parking – Budget: $XX.XX
  3. Directional signs inside the church – Budget: $XX.XX
  4. Cleaning
  5. A space for a welcome center
  6. Connect cards and pens – Budget: $XX.XX


We will make a welcome center – Budget: $XX.XX

  1. That is a hub for information
  2. Mints/candy
  3. Gifts – Budget: $XX.XX (see below)


We will have gifts for our guests at our welcome center – Budget: $XX.XX

  1. Coffee mug – Budget: $XX.XX
  2. Pens – Budget: $XX.XX
  3. Bags – Budget: $XX.XX
  4. Welcome packets – Budget: $XX.XX


The Guest Experience

This is our plan for how a guest will find our church, visit our church, and be contacted for follow-up.

We will invite people to our church

  1. We will make sure our website is up to date and provides information for 1st time guests
  2. We will do an Every Door Direct Mailing to invite people in our neighborhoods to church

                                                               i.      Budget: $XX.XX

We will have invite cards that our members will hand out

                                                               i.      Budget: $XX.XX

We will have a facebook page that is updated regularly


When people arrive at church we will

  1. Have people in parking lot with signs welcoming people
  2. Have connect cards for people who park in guest parking
  3. Have people directing traffic
  4. Have people opening doors


Before Service we will

  1. Create a welcoming atmosphere
  2. Have lobby hosts identifying and engaging new guests
  3. Walk people where they need to go (i.e. welcome center, kids desk, coffee)


During Service we will

  1. Be mindful that guests are in the room
  2. Welcome guest
  3. Introduce people who are speaking
  4. Ask guests to fill out connect cards and return to welcome center
  5. Show what are gift is on stage
  6. Greet each other and engage guests


After Service we will

  1. Create opportunities to establish relationships with guests
  2. Volunteers will be ready at welcome center
  3. Give gifts to guests who come to welcome center


We Will Follow-up with our Guests

We will compile guest information from our service

  1. We will collect connect cards
  2. Enter data into our computer system
  3. Information will be given to our volunteers for follow-up

                                                               i.     Young adult leader

                                                               ii.    Small group leaders

We will track guests with our computer system so that we know when they come back or if they haven’t came back


After a Guest’s first visit we will have a volunteer

  1. Sunday – text saying thanks for coming!
  2. Monday – send an automated email about our church
  3. Tuesday – Volunteer will mail a handwritten note
  4. Saturday – text/email inviting back to church


After a Guest’s second visit we will have a volunteer

  1. Monday – Text or Call invite to meet up before service next Sunday – get coffee in the lobby
  2. Tuesday: send a handwritten note inviting them to a small group
  3. Wednesday: Send an automatic email about our small groups
  4. Saturday: text inviting them back to church


After seeing how our plan works we will re-evaluate and make changes where necessary.