Unfortunately, there is a current reality that most church members are unaware of and most church leaders are in denial of: Virtually nobody really wants to come to church. And the truth is, it’s easy to check this claim. Go downtown, to the major workplaces, and/or door to door, simply inviting people to “come to church,” and both listen to and watch their responses. With 79 percent of Americans claiming to be Christian (as of 2013) and less than 15 percent actually attending church on any given weekend, the statistics alone bear this out. This is one of the key reasons few attendance campaigns have any significant, lasting effects.
On the other hand, the population is more than willing to attend an event that not only catches their attention, but that also fills a need, want, or desire. That’s the reason why it’s so important for the church to create a number of invite-able events each year.
Invite-able events are those events that have been designed specifically to interest your target audience. For instance, if your target is young families, then a one-evening class on healthy cooking for busy families or a date night babysitting event would likely be good invite-able events. This gives you a twofold win. First, your church members are much more likely to invite one or more of their friends who they think might be interested in the event. Second, their friends are much more likely to attend.
But invite-able events don’t have to be an event per se… if you develop target-focused sermon series, these become exceptionally invite-able. For instance, if your target is empty nesters, then a sermon series on rekindling the spark in your marriage will make it easier to invite.
People may not want to go to church, but they’ll show up for a sermon series that has the potential to address their real concerns.
Question: Brainstorm some great invite-able events and share your favorites with us in the Comments section below.