Monday, March 24, 2008

We had a great Easter!, Follow-up on events

We had a great Easter Sunday, with nearly 1100 people in attendance. It is hard for me to compare, since I have only been here on a few Sundays, but there seemed to be a bit of excitement in the air. I sensed an openness and receptivity amongst the people as well. The worship leaders did a good job, and thankfully there were no slide or video problems that came out.

We had a bit of an issue with visitors' cards, so we are not quite sure where a lot of the guests came from. I would assume it is a combination of friends and family invited by members, people from the flyer we sent out, people from the news article, and regular Easter visitors. In the future we'll need to track this so that we can gauge the effectiveness of various types of contact.

On this point, personal contacts are always the most effective. However, flyers, newspaper articles, "e-vites" and the like give members help members reach out and talk about their faith. So their effectiveness cannot be judged alone on the impersonal side, but should also include how they help members.

Good follow-up of guests is essential, with cards, visits, and prayer. At Liberty, we had a great follow-up ministry through Monday Night for the Master. Having just started here, I am still learning about what is in place and what improvements we need to make.

It is typical on any "event" type of outreach to put a lot of time and energy and effort into the event (i.e., Easter, marriage seminar, VBS). In fact, usually people are worn out by this time and ready to rest. Unfortunately, this means that follow-up is usually not performed nearly as well as the event, and many opportunities are lost. In the future, we will need to make sure that we seek to do both equally as well.

We are of course learning about how to reach out in McKinney. And we will want to actually go out to reach people, not just invite them to come to us. We need to be in homes and schools and coffeeshops and parks and other places where people are. This is an essential part of being missional. But Sunday was important because we started with an emphasis on reaching out. And that is a good thing. We will be praying that God blesses our humble efforts!

What types of follow-up do you do in your church after events? What seems to be the most effective?