They’re here. 

It’s been a wild past few months between city-wide mailers, door-to-door mailers, thousands of dollars, insane community egg hunts, etc …

Your team has been planning the services the past few weeks, dialing in the message through group talk sessions, organizing the service order, honing the overall message of the morning to flow with the music to create the perfectly responsive environment.

Your morning is the perfect pitch to the prepared batter; swing away. 

Strike one.

Strike two.

Strike three.

What happened? The music was top-notch. The message was carefully crafted and delivered masterfully. The communion meditation was centered and open, and the time of offering was centered on generosity and mission.

No one came back. Not a single person. 

You can do everything in the world to get people to your church on a Sunday, but if you can’t make it easy for them to come back the next weekend, then you’ve done all that work for nothing.

Here’s where you dropped the ball, and how you can pick it back up. 

  1. Your church was friendly, but it was fake. The greeting team did a good job making sure everyone had a bulletin in their hand and was directed to the church website, but after they came through the front doors, it felt stale and lifeless, as if they were a part of a crowd and not part of a family. There a big difference there. Your church can be the friendliest on the outside, but if they’re cold inside, no one is coming back. People are screaming for community and your greeters are the first step to giving them exactly what they want. Therefore, give your greeters the space to set the scene outside and inside of the doors. Then turn your church as a whole into your greeting team. If you can do this, then you are helping shut the doors and making it easy for people to come back.
  2. Your service was dialed in, but your data collection was not. You handed out bulletins, made connection cards readily available, your website made it easy for people to contact you, yet you still collected no usable data from first time guests to your church. Why? You made data collection about data, and not stories. People want to be a part of community (point one as seen above) and a story greater than themselves. When someone hands you their data, it’s because they are buying into the story you are communicating. Everyone is asking for their data these days for email lists and offers; you’re collecting data for missional assimilation. You’re attempting to take them from casual observer to sold-out participant. In order to do that, you need to make data collection a part of your narrative. If you can do this, then you are helping shut the doors and making it easy for people to come back.
  3. Your atmosphere was exciting, but it wasn’t inspiring. Lights, fog machines, and a preacher with a funny joke or two only go so far. People are not looking for a good word; they’re looking for an inspired word. Something that cuts them to their core and calls them to a new and exciting place. In order to do this, everything your service centers on is about calling them to come back … for a reason. Is it your sermon that wraps and calls them back to a new series starting next week? Is it an announcement that focuses on community that invites them to “come-back” and participate in life-changing ministry? Is it _____________ that reaches them where they’re at and takes them to a new space in their personal relationship with God? Everything you do should foster movement to a next step. In marketing, we call these growth-hacks; everything you do should have a next right step. If you can do this, then you are helping shut the doors and making it easy for people to come back.

Are your back doors shut this Easter? Have you sealed it up before people show up? Is all the work, planning, preparation and prayer been done in vain, or are you ready to take your church to new and exciting heights? If you can take these three keys and plug the leak, then you are helping shut the doors and making it easy for people to come back to your church, and be a part of your faith community for life.

 


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3 Comments

  1. Charles Weiser on March 22, 2016 at 6:38 PM

    Retired pastor here .
    Continuing consulting work with pastors and junior clergy,
    And looking for resources to recommend to clients.



    • catalystchurchcreative on March 22, 2016 at 6:56 PM

      That’s why we’re here Charles – to resource the church. How can we serve you?