WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE PEOPLE GOD HAS BROUGHT YOU FOR HIS BIRTHDAY?
Christmas is right around the corner. Church attendance will triple on Christmas Eve. But what comes next? What are you going to do with the people God has brought you for his birthday?
- 70% percent of our efforts should be focused on getting people to attend our special events.
- 20% of our efforts should be devoted to what happens after they attend our special events.
- Only 10% should be devoted to what actually happens at the event.
This breakdown might seem counterintuitive, but the truth is anytime we do a special event we know it’s going to be great. Special events catalyze artists and creatives. Our imagineers get excited. They’re going to do their best work. They’re going to put their best foot forward. However, the rest of us—strategists, planners, administrators, executives—often feel caught up in the excitement of what’s going to happen, and we miss our true responsibility to promote and cultivate door-bursting attendance, and—perhaps even more importantly—to execute an intelligent plan afterward.
There are 4 key verbs that help us understand the elements of a good follow-up plan. Come, do, connect, meet. Once people are in the building we have to invite them to something else. We’ve got to suggest that they come to this next thing, even if it’s only the next Sunday morning, and we tell them why next Sunday morning matters in the lives of everyday ordinary people. We’ve got to reinforce that, if they come, they will get spiritual help for the conditions of real life.
Beyond what they can attend immediately we’ve also got to invite them to do something—get involved, get connected, find some means of roping them into ministry in the local church, regardless of their relative maturity as Christ-followers.
In addition to coming and doing, we can also invite them to connect with others. One of the most effective strategies at church is to introduce people to others like them. If a young family with children comes in, introduce them to another young family with children. They don’t have to become best friends. In fact, the shorter the conversation, the better. Just keep it light and friendly and move on. Show them there are other people at your church like them so that it feels normal and they begin to feel comfortable.
The last thing you can do, eventually, is to meet them personally. When someone agrees to have coffee with you it’s an indicator that they are willing to take the next step in their spiritual journey. They might not know it yet, but what they’re really saying is “I’m ready to go deeper with God.”
If we can convince people to come, do, connect, and meet, we’ll take those 300% additional attendees on Christmas Eve and turn them into 300% more fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ over the next 3-6 months.