Creating a Learning Network for Community Builders!


Visitor Retention

When people visit a church only 5% of them normally 'stick.' We need to change this!

Members: 27
Latest Activity: Mar 31, 2017

Discussion Forum

Following Up with Your First and Second-time Guests

Started by Jerry Hartman. Last reply by Juanita Feb 27, 2017. 2 Replies

How to Choose Church Child Care Workers

Started by Dave Knauss Apr 14, 2010. 0 Replies


Started by Dave Knauss. Last reply by Dave Knauss Dec 14, 2009. 15 Replies

Church Tracking Software

Started by Dave Knauss. Last reply by Dave Knauss Sep 23, 2009. 1 Reply


Started by John Marshall. Last reply by Rev. David Garlich Jul 14, 2009. 2 Replies

Managing First Impressions of Your Guests

Started by Jerry Hartman. Last reply by Jerry Hartman Apr 21, 2009. 5 Replies

What you can expect from this group!

Started by Juanita. Last reply by Dave Knauss Mar 20, 2009. 3 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Juanita on March 27, 2015 at 12:12am

Good stuff, David and Jerry.  Keep sharing.

Comment by Dave Knauss on May 4, 2011 at 1:29pm

Jerry and Pastor Tim,

Just a small correction to the info below.  Please contact Greg Peck at 1-800-788-1122, x2124.  (Just thought you'd like the entire phone number.)  Or you can speak with me at x2541 because, like Jerry, we're the two primary VRP instructors that have been working successfully with pastors for the last 2 1/2 years.  The VRP coaching is spectacular.  (BTW, Jerry is the primary writer of the coaching.  He's done a superb job at organizing and presenting tons of valuable info.)

Blessings, Dave K.

(one of the VRP instructors)

Comment by Jerry Hartman on May 4, 2011 at 9:53am

Hi Timothy,


We have found that most churches that haven't implemented Visitor Retention principles are retaining between 5% and 10% of their visitors. You are right at the bottom of this range. It sounds like you have implemented a couple of visitor retention principles. The best way for you to learn more is to call 1-800-1122 and ask for Greg Peck. He can sign you up for a 1 hour webinar where you will learn more about visitor retention.


Here is a very quick overview of the coaching we provide. The Visitor Retention Program is research based using several researchers and authors that have analyzed successful churches, particularly the top 4% of the fastest growing evangelical churches in America. What we have found is that they are very similar with their strategies for retaining visitors. The program is presented as a three-phase approach. The first phase is all about first impressions. We have discovered that most people subconsciously make their decision to come back for a second visit within 7 minutes of entering your parking lot. There are 7 critical ministries that impact those 7 minutes. You will need to overhaul all of them in order to make a good first impression. The second phase is working with second-time guest, helping them to take their next steps. There is another series of ministries that impacts this phase. The third phase deals with discipleship and getting people plugged into all aspects of your church so that they are still there 5 years from now, and beyond. The whole coaching program takes 6 months and is delivered in 12 session, each with assignments and guide for overhauling each of the ministries. The results we have been seeing are phenomenal. We often see churches double their attendance before the end of the sessions. All churches that implemented the principles have grown.


I am the writer of the program and one of the coaches. I could go on and on about the coaching program, but the best way for you to learn about i is to either enroll in the coaching sessions, or start by attending the on-time webinar.

Jerry Hartman

VRP Administrator


Comment by Timothy D Lucas on May 3, 2011 at 8:31pm
Where can I get more information on the Visitor Retention Program that is being discussed? Sounds like something that I have been thinking (and praying) about a lot, but can't figure out how to keep visitors coming.  We send personal cards out to First and Second time guests and provide a free CD of the sermon that day.  We are in a location with several churches are in a very small radius. This is due to the availability and price of property in the area.  Even so, there are enough unsaved and unchurched people in the community to fill 20 more churches.  Any ideas?
Comment by Dave Knauss on December 13, 2010 at 7:35am

Hey Bro Jack,

Great question.  I can answer it from many different angles. Here are a few.

In the Visitor Retention program, we recognize there are various kinds of visitors. (1) Members of other churches who are curious. (2) Visitors who are tourists passing through the area. (3) Genuine Christian seekers of a church home, currently without one. (4) Unsaved looking for God and answers.  While EVERY visitor deserves 100% attention placed on them as one would do to a person or family invited to your home for a sit-down meal, categories 3 & 4 are called "prospects" and need special follow-up.

In the Visitor Retention Program, we teach churches how to see friendliness through the visitor's perspective, rather than their usual regular-member perspective. If a church isn't considered friendly by your visitors, then you're not friendly. Visitors' opinions reveal more than regulars.

In the Visitor Retention Program, we teach the simple outreach of giving invitations to unsaved people to attend church. The stats reveal that 63% of formerly unsaved people said they would have definitely attended church had they been invited. And that 96% said they would have been somewhat likely to attend with an invitation. At present, almost none are being invited.

In the Visitor Retention Program, we teach pastors and churches how to operate their churches with such levels of excellence that the neighborhood is buzzing about them and those invited are EXCITED to come and see what God is all about.

Comment by Jack Frost on December 11, 2010 at 9:10am

I would have to question this: As most visitors to any given church are visiting from another church, why is it important to retain your visitors?  Obviously, if they come from another church, then that church will be losing its members.  So in reality, we have each church struggling to gain members from another church constantly, with a tug-of-war going on endlessly, each trying to outdo the other in ways to convince people that their church is the best one for the person to attend. 

How does that benefit the visiting person? I'm very curious here.

Comment by Dave Knauss on June 18, 2010 at 10:15am
The VRP program looks at every ministry and operation in a church. We (I'm one of the instructors) have found that when everything is running on a high level of excellence, that the enthusiasm it generates among both the regular church members and the surrounding community is CONTAGIOUS. Amazing magnetism happens!
Comment by Phillip Hill on June 18, 2010 at 10:09am
Getting Members to come to weekly Bible Study.
Comment by Dave Knauss on July 1, 2009 at 2:50pm
Great, Pastor Dave!!! We are praising the Lord for you and excited right with you and your congregation as well.
Blessings, Dave Knauss
Comment by Jerry Hartman on July 1, 2009 at 10:46am
That's great news Pastor Dave. We continue to pray for you and your church. Keep us informed of your progress now that you have completed the Visitor Retention Program. If you ever have any questions or need help, just ask

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