It’s the first day back in the church office after the weekend service and you’re combing through the connection cards. If you’re like me and you see first and second time guests, you get pretty excited. The next step is some type of follow- up thanking them for being your guest and to see how they enjoyed the service. Most follow-ups are email, phone calls and sending letters, but how many times do you get a response from this?


  • Phone calls: In my experience, most people won’t answer a number that they don’t recognize, letting your call go to voicemail. Chances are, they won’t call back, but think the message is thoughtful.
  • Emails: Raise of hands, how many people have so much spam and new emails flooding your inbox every day? It’s not that the guest doesn’t want to read it. Maybe the guest forgot about it or the email never even made it to the inbox.
  • Letters: Thoughtful and still powerful, yet doesn’t allow the guest to respond back.


Texting: I use texting weekly for my church. This tool is incredible because it’s quick and simple. People are more inclined to text back than call or email back. On Tuesdays (because the church is closed on Mondays), I gather the connection cards and start texting the guests. Later in the week, I send another message asking to meet before or after the service. Guests text on Sundays and let me know that they are here, and we can coordinate a way to meet before or after the service. It’s fantastic.

Sample #1 text and responses:

Me (Josh): Hello. This is Josh from Emmanuel Wesleyan. Thanks for being our guest this past Sunday. I hope that you enjoyed services. Please let me know if you have any questions about Emmanuel. I hope you have a great day, and I look forward to connecting this next Sunday.

Ashley (response): Hi, Josh! Great to hear from u. It was great, and I’m bringing my hubby with me this Sunday too.

Me (Josh): I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope to meet you and your family on Sunday!

Sample #2 response:

Mitch/Leslie (response): Hey, Josh! We will be at church at 10:15 today if you want to meet up.

Me (Josh): Awesome! We’ll be done with practice soon. I’ll meet you by the couches near the cafe. Mitch Leslie (response): Sounds great!

I find that texting is a direct, intentional, and easy way to reach out to guests. For me, I have had greatest success in texting rather than sending emails and calling people. I highly recommend using texting as a tool to respond with not only newcomers but your church as well. These are quick reminders for meetings, for volunteers, and even a quick text to those who filled out prayer requests.

I also recommend setting up a Google Voice account to maximize on the texting feature. This free service allows you to text and makes calls (through wi-fi) with a brand new number. I use Google Voice for my church number. Once you set up an account, you can text on your phone and through the Google Voice website. On the website, you can start texting up to five people at a time and it doesn’t send as a group message. One great advantage to this free tool is that all the numbers you text are saved and stored online.

Josh Foster is communications and connections director at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury, Md.