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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Come Back To My Church

Many churches will have their highest attendance of the year on Easter Sunday. The question churches have to wrestle with is how do we get the C&E (Christmas & Easter) folks back on April 19th? How do we turn C&E folks into committed Christ- followers? I want to offer some suggestions on how we can get more C&E folks to become regular attendees.

1. Make sure you have a great Easter service. Take time planning and preparing for the experience. Make it powerful, relevant and full of Jesus and the Bible.

2. Start a great series on Easter or the Sunday after Easter. Promote it to your guests so that you give them something to come back for.

3. Remember, most guests make their minds up to come back to a church within the first 10 minutes of their visit. Your parking lot hosts, greeters, ushers and volunteers checking in kids are so crucial. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Most guests will make up their minds to visit again before they ever hear one worship song or the sermon. The sermon literally starts in the parking lot.

4. Someone needs to call all your first-time guests within 48 hours.

5. Send out a hand-written note to all first-time guests within the first 3 to 4 days of their visit. If your budget allows, put a $5 gas card inside the note and tell your guests that you are paying for their next visit to your church.

6. Send out an email within 24 hours to all first-time guests thanking them for coming.

7. Have information in your bulletin or in your guest info packets explaining how guests can get plugged into your church.

8. Have some of kind of event for newcomers at your church. Once a quarter, we have a Newcomers/Membership Luncheon to help connect newcomers to PC. We serve a free lunch and share the story and vision of PC.

9. When a first-time guest comes a second time, have some kind of follow-up system to connect with them. We currently send a letter from me, a hand-written note from a staff member and a phone call from a staff member. We are getting ready to tweak the system to a letter from me and a phone call from a staff member.