(NOTE: I’m using Easter as the illustration big event. Put yours in and your good to go!)
Ever said to yourself after Easter, “Where did everybody go?”
I remember talking to a pastor/friend of mine after he had asked that question and he was ready to quit the ministry and go be a truck driver. No offense to truck drivers (my dad was one), but that was not this pastor’s calling. He was a pastor!
You wonder sometimes what goes on in the mind of the guest who comes to church on Easter, looks like they are enjoying what is happening and then they are never to be seen again.
BUT … there are certain specific things you can do to help guests to come back week after week after week. This is not necessarily a fool-proof, exhaustive list but it’s a good starter-kit to get guests back.
If you follow these six steps, I’m confident it will help you retain more of the guests who come this Easter.
1. Pray for the guest.
This most basic and important exercise will yield you more results than any work you do on your own. In fact, the work you do on your own will pale in comparison to the divine and supernatural work only the Lord can do as He moves on the hearts of your guests.
2. Plan with the guest in mind.
We know the Lord is the One who brings the increase. It is our role to effectively plan so that we set the stage for all He wants to do in the lives of your guests.
Plan up to Easter. Plan the day itself. And plan for post-Easter. And as you’ve read in our other Easter blog posts, plan for Mother’s Day (more on that in a bit…).
[NOTE: Want more people to come to your annual big event this year than last year? Check out Church Marketing University and learn how to reach more people through Facebook and other digital methods without all the confusion and frustration. Get in on the Wait-list for preferred enrollment when CMU opens around October 1st.]
3. Make Easter the best ever.
While you are putting together the order of service for Easter, do so with the guest in mind. Think about someone outside the world of faith. We know this world. They do not.
Think of the person who is clueless about God and the relationship He wants with that person. Make sure all components of your service operate at the highest possible level. This is true for everything you are doing in Kids’ Ministry as well. Gotta be the best you can do!
4. Do effective follow-up.
You cannot expect guests to just come back automatically because you’re so wonderful. I’m sure you are wonderful, but the best follow-up systems are very-well thought through and require a good amount of work.
When you do so, you will see effective results. If you need a good follow-up process with specifics, you can find that at one of our previous blogs, The Perfect Follow-Up Plan After Easter. Follow this plan and you will see results.
5. Have an engaging post-Easter sermon series.
One of the best things a pastor can do is to create a series specifically geared toward guys for right after Easter. Here’s the deal. Women frequently come to church without their man. They wish he’d come, they pray for him to come, but he doesn’t.
I suggest you be strategic with this knowledge and promote on Easter the new series you are doing that is geared to guys and is appealing to a person who does not know God. It needs to be something of value that will help them reach a felt need.
You want the guy leaving church on Easter saying to his wife, girlfriend, mom or daughter, “Hey, that series the pastor was talking about sounds great. Maybe we should come back next week.” I’m telling you, the female in that guy’s life will be thrilled, thrilled, thrilled!!!
6. Create a great Mother’s Day weekend.
If you really want to have guests return to the church, you need to have something intriguing for which they will WANT to return.
If you’re sermon series isn’t enough to get them to come back, many times mothers will request their families go to church together on Mother’s Day. In fact, for many churches, Mother’s Day is the third most attended church service of the year!
So if you can do things that will pique people’s interests for Mother’s Day, then you are on track to see some of your Easter guests return.
Keep in mind, you need to promote your Mother’s Day activities on Easter Sunday.
Easter does not have to be same ol’ same ol’ this year. It can be the best Easter yet and the guests returning this year can be more than ever. If you do the things I have suggested you will see more and more guests WANT to come back. They really will.
Let’s go get ‘em … and let’s keep ‘em!
[NOTE: Not sure how to get more visitors for your big events this fall and winter? Enroll in Church Marketing University, and you’ll learn how to have a strategic system that will yield visitors every week (not just on Easter). Get in on the Wait-list for preferred enrollment when CMU opens around October 1st.]