A couple of months ago we looked at prayer to lay the foundation for growing the church during a pandemic. I also suggested that the pastor and laity develop technology teams. Last month we looked at radical hospitality. I would now like for us to look at the effect of follow-up during the pandemic.
Follow-up should not continue to be the lack of unawareness to finish a task. The leader who understands the process of follow-up realizes the importance of people, process, and procedure. Some may ask why follow-up is important while others do not see the relevance. However, it provides feedback based upon the action we have taken. For the local church follow-up can help us grow. Have you ever asked someone to perform a task and trusted them to do it only to find out that what you were seeking did not get done or was half done? Miscommunication and misinformation leads to mishaps and non-effectiveness.
A component of Church growth is layered in follow-up. For instance, someone visits your church and is excited about the ministries at the church. You’re able to capture contact information to follow-up with them about their visit. Your church sends them a letter, e-mail or text celebrating their presence in worship. But the following week you do not see them at the Park and Praise drive-in worship. You wonder what happened, but you left it there as just a wonder. No one reached out to them again even though you had delivered a good word from the Lord, worship was outstanding, and they had been blown away by radical hospitality. All this may be true, but the church is not on point with follow up and follow through. So, they had an inspiring one-time experience and moved on.
Consider this it may take anywhere between 4-8 touches (call, text, card, worship, Bible study, prayer meeting, etc.…) for someone to unite with a congregation. We cannot leave it up to chance. There is a saying, “Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it. Somebody was upset about that because it was everybody's job. Everybody thought that anybody could do it, but nobody realized that everybody would not do it. It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when nobody did what anybody could have done.”
There are those who believe that Nike came up with the “Just Do It” slogan. But Mary the mother of Jesus said to the disciples in John 2:5, “Do whatever he tells you”. If we want the Lord’s church to grow, then we need to provide follow-up. Proper follow-up involves both congregational and individual effort. We cannot minimize what is not seen with follow-up. We must make it a vital part of our ministry because the results are monumental. Therefore, to bring others into an encounter with Jesus we must pray, develop teams, practice radical hospitality, AND follow-up.
Leon C. Moore, Jr.
General Secretary of Evangelism and Missions
Pleasant Hill CME, Conyers, GA