Over the last couple decades of working with many great churches in the area of discipling new believers I wanted to pass along some key things that will help you create a great new believers packet and reach, connect and disciple new believers. A few years ago we release a resource book for new believers called “Following Jesus”, which is a short, fresh looking book that targets the 7 initial key steps for a new believer to follow. God has really breathed on it, and many churches now around the globe have started implementing the book into their discipleship strategy; this has allowed me to get to engage with a lot of great churches on effective approach to discipleship and creating new believer packets and the overall assimilation and discipleship strategy. (We also have the Following Jesus discipleship material in an Online Course that helps with discipling and connecting with people in the online space.)
It’s also important for me to note before we get into the below how to section, that we remember that overall, the most important thing after a new believer comes to Christ is for them to feel that hospitality and connection to the family of God. So, the packet is not the focus, it is a tool to connect with the new believer and get them on the next steps of following Jesus.
So, here are a few key things to consider as you put together a great new believers packet.
1. What do you put into the New Believers Packet?
As you’re putting together a packet, don’t overthink it, it’s better to have something than to wait too long because you’re wanting to make it perfect or you’re waiting for the budget. Also, sometimes people will do a packet that connects with both the visiting guest and a new believer, and some do them separately.
When putting the packet together, also consider your ability to continue with it, so don’t make it too complicated or so expensive that you quit using it after a month.
Key Things In Packets:
- Physical copy of the Bible or YouVersion Bible App info
- Letter/postcard/message from the pastors
- Following Jesus book (or other discipleship tools)
- Optional additional gift: Like, free coffee voucher for your church or Starbucks. Coffee tumbler. Or a journal and pen. (Branded for your church is great for these gifts but not essential)
- Clear next step direction. This could be on the same letter/postcard as the letter from the pastors, but something that make sure they know what’s next. Like do you want them to come to a small group, a growth track of some kind, a new believers course?
2. How to get the packet into a new believers hands
The greatest new believers packet in the world doesn’t help if you don’t get it into the hands of new believers. Below I’ll list a few key ways that churches attempt to connect with new believers, but first I want to note that I highly encourage a genuine and passionate call be given in every service for people to choose to put their faith in Jesus!
Whether your church style is invite people to come forward to the altar or keep people in their seats, it’s key to create a decisive moment for everyone in the room to get the opportunity to hear and answer that question of whether or not they will choose to follow Jesus.
Once the call has been given, we then have to make sure give them a clear and simple next step that guides them to connect with you so that you can get the discipleship tools into their hands and make that crucial relational connection.
Here’s a few ways people do it:
- Hand out the packet to them in service when they raise their hand or come forward.
- Have a clear place out in the lobby that they can go to and pick up their new believers packet and other guest info if they’re new. (We have Following Jesus banners to help with this)
- Text in services. Have a screen up that has instructions on a text in number that then allows you to follow up with people.
- Remind them at the end of the service again what the simple next step is for a new believer (and for a guest)
- If you invite new believers to raise their hands, also Have team in auditorium that are watching for that and then kindly come up to them after service to get the book into their hands.
3. Following up with New Believers
This is a key part of the process, like we already noted, you can have the best packet, get it to them, but at the end of the day, you want to be sure you make the connection and do your best to get them connected and starting the discipleship process.
Here’s a few things to remember in follow up:
- Always do your best to gather contact information from any new believer, especially if they grab a packet. (Don’t need to ask for too much info, but enough for your church data base system and to basically be able to email/call them.
- Have an automatic system of follow up as the base of your follow up. So, if get their email, have a series of a few emails that they get that welcomes them to the family and gives them next steps and links to helpful resources. If you gather their cell, have a auto text go out. This helps to make sure that even if for some reason, a lot of a great connection or follow up happens, for sure you’ll know that there was some initial connection and exchange with all guests and new believers.
- Make the next step simple, clear and consistent. If you have 3+ plus things you’re trying to get a new believe to do, they most likely won’t do any of them. So, make sure that you identify which you want them to go to first. Is it a small group, is there a growth track or new believers Sunday school type class. What it is, is less important as the need for it to be clear.
- Make it as relational as possible. So, while you want to gather their data and get them into the follow up systems. Make it the goal to attempt to help them make a good relational connection on the day they make that decision for Christ.
Praying for you as you work towards being more effective as a church in connecting with and discipling the new believers that God bringing to your church family. Again for more Following Jesus discipleship resource check out our church resources collection: followingjesusbook.com
Any other questions don’t hesitate to reach out!
*This article and content appears on both my site and the site I guest blogged for called, Ministry Voice.