Streamlining Church Assimilation with Trello

Streamlining Church Assimilation with Trello

Do you struggle with developing and managing an assimilation system for your church? is the perfect solution for church assimilation management. I believe we have to be intentional about assimilating people into the local church. Every person is worth everything. When folks visit your church, the way we reach out and connect speaks to how we believe Jesus reaches out to everyone of us. So developing an intentional strategy helps us love folks and Jesus loves us.

All this week I am blogging on using Trello in ministry. This is the 2nd post in the series. Here are all the posts and links

Productive Pastor 46 | Organizing Ministry with Trello

Why You Need To Build a Trello Reading List (and how to do it).
Streamlining Church Assimilation with Trello.
Creating a Collaborative Sermon Workflow with Trello

Streamlining Church Assimilation With Trello

First, let’s remember the strengths of Trello. I shared these in episode 46 of PP.

  • Trello is fantastic for teams
  • You can link multiple documents (from a variety of places) inside one card
  • You have the ability to drop notes in cards
  • Checklists (repeatable)
  • You can move cards to different stacks

This makes Trello the perfect place to run a team based, highly adaptable system of any sorts. When Foundry developed it’s 1st time contact system, we knew we wanted multiple people as part of it. This mean needing the ability for us all to work on the project simultaneously as well as provide instant feedback as to what has been done. Here are the steps to take to build your own church assimilation system in Trello.

This is going to take intentionality

If you don’t already have a strategy for following up with visitors,¬†what your church’s pathway of involvement and discipleship process looks like, you are going to have to start developing one. But this is a necessary part of leading a strategically focused church.

The first step is to develop a 1st time visitor system and a 2nd time visitor system. It’s all about follow up and connection. Here is ours. This is all put into place on Sunday afternoon/Monday Morning. We’ve developed this system over the last couple of months and I think it works well.

  1. Allison enters the person/family into Trello on their own card underneath 1st time visitors. A date is added for the visit. When a card is entered, the movements below are entered as a checklist. Remember, once you create this once, you can reapply it to any card.
  2. Pastoral staff sends FB friend request
  3. Chad writes and sends hand written note
  4. Allison sends a FB message.
  5. Both of us add the person into our FB Foundry friend list. (more on that process and strategy here)
  6. Molly (another staff person) sends our Priority Mail welcome box. This is a new addition starting on Easter Sunday. I am really excited about it.
  7. The visitor is entered into our email system. We have a follow-up email series attached to this action.

This means after a 1st time visit, anyone or any family receives 4 points of contact after they visit.

Here is the top of our Trello church assimilation system. It’s just the stacks and cards are entered below here.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.54.20 AM



When the person comes for a 2nd time visit, there are a few more actions attached. The first is to move the card from the 1st time column to the 2nd time column. An additional checklist is placed underneath their name then. This is what it involves.

  1. Chad texts and makes contact. I thank them, give them my number and let them know I am praying for them.
  2. Another team member sends a handwritten note to connect.

After the 1st and 2nd guests columns you see a few more columns. Since Foundry is a portable church spread out across an 80 mile grid, we view serving and leading on Sunday as part of our intentional assimilation and discipleship process. Usually folks can exist on this for 2 more weeks of attendance before we make contact with them regarding serving. By this time, they are aware of the different opportunities for leadership and serving. We send information on these opportunities in our Priority Mail box.

Here is how we manage assimilation on Trello. Do you have any suggestions, questions or ideas?


  • Michael


    I’m curious how you guys catch a 2nd time guest? We have a process for catching 1st time guests as long as they fill out a card (we also give them a gift on their 1st visit) but struggle to see if they return for a 2nd time.

    • Michael-we catch them two ways.

      1. Our connection card has a box for 2nd time guest.
      2. Kids Check-In. Most of our guests have kids, and so the checkin procedure gives us another layer of guest contact.

  • Carl Axel Franzon

    Thanks – I have been using a spreadsheet for this, but I like the idea of Trello; more visual and easier to see the progress of someone as well as see who only visited once, etc.
    Question on the use of Facebook – you talk about adding them as friends. What has been the response to this? Do you get their Facebook info on your contact card?

    • Hey Carl- Thanks for engaging.

      With FB, there is a pretty big amount of power that comes from getting connected. I wrote about the power of using Facebook lists. This is the system we run through.

      • Carl Axel Franzon

        I agree on the connection and use of lists is something I do.
        I was more curious about how you connect with them on Facebook? Do you just look them up by email or do you have them put their Facebook info on your “connection card” or whatever you call it? I am trying to gauge the response of someone who visits a church once and then gets a friend request from the church.

        • we don’t put in the system (besides the check box). After the accept the request I have a standard message I send them thanking them for accepting and letting them know they can get in touch with me.

          A big part of this is having a super approachable presence on FB. I really don’t use it for much “professional” engagement (you don’t see me doing tons of productive pastor linking and advertising). For me, when I see I have 40+ related friends with a person, I know they are part of the network of people our church travels in. It isn’t uncommon for us to have a good bit of engagement with folks through facebook. It might just be a cultural thing, but it works well for us.

          • Carl Axel Franzon

            Makes sense. Thanks. I was curious because in the many articles I had seen on follow up/assimilation, I had not seen any using Facebook so intentionally. Appreciate the conversation

  • Do you ever follow up with phone calls, or do you keep it to texting/FB?

    • Nathan-It isn’t part of our official strategy. Oddly enough, in our culture, a phone call is pretty intimate. I do call sometimes knowing it will go straight to voicemail and leave an intentional message there.

      • This totally makes sense. In years past it seemed like people expected/appreciated a phone call from the pastor, but now I think FB or possibly text has replaced that.