You have an event that your congregation puts on, but no one starts coming to your church because of it.  Do we continue anyway because it is a “good” event?

Most churches have some wonderful events, but we miss out on a vital opportunity to leverage this for the glory of God and His Kingdom.  Interested?

The issue is being intentional about what the vision and mission are.  For the longest time, churches have done events because it is a good thing to do.  The community might even say that it is so nice that the church does this.  But the community doesn’t make a connection between your event and the benefits of involvement in a congregation.

An example might be seen in the Salvation Army.  I have the highest regard for this denomination.  To be focused on the needs of the poor is laudable.  But I have heard several people from the Salvation Army feel the need to inform others that they are actually a church, not just a Christian social ministry organization.  They really have worship that you might attend.

This is the learning for when you think your community event is a great idea.  Do you leverage community events to grow your church?  There are four things to include in your events:

  • Handoffs.
  • Branding.
  • Relationship Building.
  • Contact Information.

Handoffs are the “what’s next” for people to consider.  Don’t just leave them with a nice event.  Help them see what the next step of their journey of faith might look like.  What is your upcoming sermon series that deals with the struggles of their everyday lives?  What is a mission opportunity you will be doing in which non-churched people can participate?

Branding is making sure people recognize who you are.  Do they even realize who is putting on the event and what your mission is?  This is a delightful place with a captive audience to gently take a moment in the proceedings to have a church leader not just make a “welcome greeting,” but go beyond that to share a bit of who you are.  Perhaps you send something home with people that has your name on it.  At least get brochures in their hands.

Relationship building is huge and so often neglected.  Train your people to look for someone at the event who they don’t know.  Everyone should greet at least one person who they don’t recognize.  Ask people about their lives.  Find a potential connecting point where your congregation might come alongside.  Introduce your new friend to someone from your church with a similar interest.

Contact information is another opportunity so often lost on us.  Events are golden opportunities to build your email list.  You might also stop by people’s homes to bring a branded gift as a “thank you” for attending the event.  How do you get this information?  Be creative.  Offer people something they would find worthy.  Perhaps you have a great door prize and people must give email and home addresses to have a chance to win.

Doing community events in the name of Jesus are wonderful.  But seize the chance to help people take the next step of life and faith.  You can grow your church if you leverage events.  People will be blessed.  And the Kingdom of God will celebrate.

What are some ways that you have leveraged events that helped people connect to your church?  I’d love to hear from you.  Leave your comments below.