Hopefully it’s easy for new parishioners to register at your parish. What happens after a new household registers is just as important as the registration itself. An increasing number of parishes in North America are implementing welcome teams to help draw new parishioners closer to the heart of the community. Here are a few way to get started:
- Choose outgoing parishioners who have a good working knowledge of your various ministries and events throughout the year. These founding members of your welcome team should vary in age, gender, and state in life.
- Assign a member of the welcome team to reach out to this new household via phone or text message. This first contact should occur 48-72 hours after registration.
- Welcome team members should seek a first meeting with the new parishioner, either by phone or in person, during which they can direct them to ministries or events that match their gifts and state in life.
- That same welcome team member should reach out 2-3 months later to see how the new parishioner is settling in at the parish.
During this process, welcome team members will discover needs that the new parishioner has – perhaps he or she was never confirmed or needs information about children’s religious education. Your welcome team members don’t need to have every answer at their fingertips, but they should know how to get the new parishioner answers quickly.
The basic rules of customer service apply here. First, someone who registers at your parish already has a high level of interest in your community, and each subsequent day his or her interest diminishes. A welcome team with a great response time will help draw the newcomer close to your parish quickly, ensuring they make your church their spiritual home and they get involved! Implementing welcome teams can be a huge game-changer for how new parishioners feel about your parish.