Everybody knows that holding big days are an important part of building a growing church. Whether it is a special Sunday service or a weekend concert or seminar, the rewards of a successful event can include growth in attendance, increased community awareness of your church, and a revitalized congregation. With those things in mind, I present to you five keys to holding a successful event at your church:
PLAN – Put a great deal of prayer, thought, and effort into planning exactly what kind of a special service you are going to have. You will want to maximize the potential for success by scheduling something that folks are going to actually want to attend, so don’t be afraid to get some feedback and counsel from others before you commit. Be ready and willing to invest some resources (money, materials, and manpower) to make this more than just another date filled on your annual church calendar. Success or failure starts by planning something GOOD!
PROMOTE – Planning a great event is NOT enough. You can have a dynamic speaker, an incredible singing group, an inspiring program, but all of that will mean NOTHING if folks in your community don’t know that it’s happening! PROMOTION is a huge part of the plan, and it includes multiple areas:
From the PULPIT – The Senior Pastor MUST get behind this event and promote it passionately and persistently from the pulpit. It will be impossible to get outside folks to attend if your congregation isn’t excited – they are your best advertisement! Present this event in such a way that no one will want to miss it!
With SOCIAL MEDIA – Make sure this event is clearly and consistently promoted on your church website, facebook page, twitter, etc. Begin months before the event and continue to ramp up the promotion as it gets closer. Be creative with this promotion using pictures, videos, testimonials, and anything else you can come up with to get folks attention. Social media is the most inexpensive yet most effective form of advertisement for your event.
With PRINT AND RADIO ADS – There is much debate over which is more effective – the easy answer is use both! If your budget is limited, many radio stations have free community service ads for non-profits, and your local paper may do the same.
PREPARE – The old saying “If you are praying for rain, bring your umbrella” applies here. If you are planning and promoting for a BIG event, then you and your congregation need to PREPARE for a big event! Make sure you have a full staff of volunteers prepared to deal with parking, greeting, and seating issues on the day of your big event. After all that work, you don’t want to be overwhelmed by the moment, you want to be ready and waiting to welcome all those visitors you prayed for.
PRESENT – All the planning promoting, and preparing has been done, and the big day has arrived. Now, all that’s left to do is to PRESENT a great event to your community. PRESENT your church as a friendly, welcoming place to all your visitors. PRESENT an inspiring program done with excellence that will reach the hearts of all in attendance. PRESENT Christ as the answer to every need and the center of all that you do. Make the most of the moment by making much of Jesus!
PURSUE – When your wildly successful big event is over, it’s time to capitalize by PURSUING all of those visitors who attended and don’t have a home church. They have been inspired and challenged about spiritual matters, and they are thinking positive thoughts about your church. What better time to follow up with them and invited them back to your regular services.