Fall is here! The cool temperatures around the state have been quite enjoyable and the activity has ramped up! Most of us by now have made it through our fall Small Group push and are looking down the barrel of an evangelism event. I know there are many different opinions of fall events such as festivals and the like. However you feel about them they are out there!
Many of our churches offer festivals for our communities, including my own church. Games, food, hayrides, dunking machines, concerts, giveaways are all part of the event for many of you. But usually the MOST important part of the event eludes us. We don’t plan for it; it seems like it gets the least amount of attention.
But it is the most important part of the event ….follow-up!
We spend all the time in the world to make sure all the hotdogs are cooked and the tractors are there for the hayride, but following up with people who have been our guests fall somewhere through the cracks of ministry which is easy to do, I understand. It is important that you make “follow-up” part of the event. Follow Up activities must be part of the plans! There are far more ideas around the state than these, but if you have no plans, and your fall festival is in the next week or so, try to get these few simple ideas in place –
- A follow-up letter from the Pastor thanking people for attending and reminding them if they
have a need, the church is available…They might think to call the church during a life-changing event. I always sent a business card or something for them to put on the refrigerator. One year I had the pastor’s business card made into a magnet so it would stick on the refrigerator.
- There should be a registration element as part of your event. The goal is to obtain names and other information about guests so you can contact them. This information, sometimes gathered on a contact card, should be matched with church Small Group / Sunday School records. The individuals who are not a part of your small group environment should be contacted by the appropriate leader.
- Those who are a part of Small Groups / Sunday School and have not attended in a while should be contacted as well to encourage them to return. This could be a part of re-claiming someone who was lost in the “fall shuffle.”
- Within two weeks following the event, an attempted visit or contact should be made to non-church members – (preferably after the Pastors letter has gone out). This contact should be attempted either in person or by phone call, until a person is reached. There should be some brochure, information about church, or something to give to people who came to the event.
- After these attempts the information cards should be kept either in a box or entered electronically to build a prospect file. This prospect file will serve you well as other events and opportunities come along to invite people to church. The goal is to continually build this file as much as possible to increase your invitation list each time you have an event.
Please adapt this simple plan to your church so it fits in with YOUR church. The key is follow-up. Make sure somehow these guest are contacted and they know Christ loves them and so do you.