Inside Tithe.ly: Dean Sweetman, CEO and Co-Founder
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October 17, 2019
Christmas is the perfect opportunity to reach your community. Here are 8 easy Christmas outreach ideas you can use to reach and retain more people.
November 30, 2018
Christmas is the perfect opportunity to reach your community.
During Christmas (and Easter), people are more inclined to visit your church.
According to a survey conducted by LifeWay Research, nearly three in 10 people with no religious affiliation have plans to attend a Christmas service. What is more, based on the same survey, 57 percent of the people polled said they would attend church at Christmas if they were invited.
Think about it:
Thirty percent of the people in your community who are not affiliated with a church plan on attending a Christmas service and 57 percent will attend a service if they are invited.
How many people is that in your community?
Is it hundreds?
Is it thousands?
Take a moment to do the math, and you’ll see why Christmas is a huge opportunity for your church.
Here’s the deal:
Getting people to visit your church during Christmas is one thing, encouraging them to stick around is an entirely different ballgame.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through practical steps you can take to reach people during Christmas and encourage them to stick around.
Let’s get started!
To reach your guests with the gospel during Christmas, you have to start with them in mind. I know this may sound counterintuitive. But hear me out.
During your Christmas service, you must worship with non-Christians in mind (this is also a good idea for every worship service).
I’m not suggesting for you to water down the gospel or hide your Bibles. That’s not the case at all. But what I’m suggesting is to make your worship service easily understood by your guests and non-Christians alike.
Practically speaking, here are some ideas:
I’ll expand on a couple of these ideas below.
But here’s the takeaway:
Make it easy for your guests to know what’s going on.
Beginning with your guests in mind will make it easy for them to celebrate Christmas, be open to hearing the gospel, and consider returning for another visit or take a step toward getting involved with your church.
Everyone is busy at Christmas.
From school events, family get-togethers, and just getting ready for Christmas, everyone's schedule is jammed packed with activity.
To make it easier to reach people in your community, it’s best to hold more than one Christmas service. Providing multiple services provides ample opportunity for people to visit your church for Christmas.
If you usually have one service, I’m not saying you need to offer 12 different Christmas services. Instead, consider holding more than one worship service to reach families with different needs.
For example, some families may be tied up with morning activities whereas other families will have plenty of time to worship during the morning.
By offering more than one Christmas service, you’ll be able to accommodate more people, which means you can reach more people with the gospel.
Talk about a win-win situation.
Increasing the number of your Christmas services will place a burden on your volunteers, but the next idea may help alleviate this problem.
Not only are people busy during Christmas, but holding multiple services can be taxing on your church’s staff and volunteers.
To accommodate the needs of everyone and to allow people to spend time with their family, consider reducing the time of your worship service to 40-45 minutes.
Reducing the time of your worship services will decrease the workload of your staff and volunteers, and it will also give people an opportunity to spend time with their family.
Also, if you currently don’t encourage children to participate in your worship service, consider inviting children to join their parents. This little pivot will reduce the number of volunteers you need to run your Christmas services, and it can also create an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Did you know that more Americans search for “church” around Christmas and Easter than at any other time?
To capture the attention of people searching for “church,” it’s best to update your church’s website for Christmas. Here are five ways you can get your church website ready.
Know what else?
It’s also a good idea to make sure your social media platforms are up to date. Be sure to include promotions for your church’s Christmas services and your regular social media updates.
Know the most powerful way to lead someone to visit your church?
If you answered Facebook Ads, you’re wrong.
It’s actually just inviting someone to attend—that’s it.
Based on one study, 82 percent of non-Christians said they would likely attend a church if a friend, co-worker, neighbor, or family member invited them. As I mentioned above, 57 percent of people are open to visiting a church during Christmas if they're invited.
Here are simple ways you can empower your congregation to invite a friend:
It will never be easier for people to invite their neighbors, co-workers, and family and friends to a worship service than Christmas. Now’s the time to compel them to action.
The vast majority of people in your community are on social media.
In fact, seven out of 10 adults spend time on social media, and Facebook is by far the most widely used social media platform.
Here’s the deal:
The most cost-effective way to promote your church is with social media ads. They’re highly targeted, and they won’t bust your church’s budget.
Here are just a few ideas you can pursue:
When it comes to retargeting people who visited your church’s website, consider running an ad that expresses appreciation for visiting your website and consider using a video to invite people to learn more about your church.
What's the next step a visitor should take after your Christmas service?
In other words, what’s the best way someone can get further involved with your church?
As for your church, you need to make this step as clear (and compelling) as possible.
Do you want them to join you for a new sermon series?
Is it best for someone to get involved in a small group or Bible study?
Do you have an upcoming event that’s ideal?
When thinking through this next step, keep in mind what’s best for your visitors.
For example, if you’re expecting an influx of parents and children, consider preaching through a family-oriented sermon series in January. This is an easy way you can faithfully teach the Bible, meet the practical needs of your guests, and create a natural next step for them to take.
Now that your plan is in place, there’s one next step you need to take.
During your Christmas services, you will have the opportunity to welcome first-time guests.
You made a great first impression.
You collected their contact information.
But now what?
Follow up with your visitors.
This isn’t a complicated process.
All you have to do is obtain your visitor's contact information and follow up with them afterward.
To do this, you can:
By following up with your visitors, you will significantly increase the likelihood of them taking the next step with your church.
So don’t leave your guests hanging.
Let them know you’re thankful for their visit, and that you’d love an opportunity to get to know them better.
Need help keeping track of your visitors?
With Tithe.ly Church Management, you can easily keep track of your visitors.
For example, you can create a process to make sure you follow up, and delegate a staff member or volunteer to oversee it.
The follow-up process you create can look something like this:
Creating a system like this will make it easier for your church to stay in touch with your first-time guests.
There you have it.
Eight ways to reach more people during Christmas
This list isn’t exhaustive, and we know there’s a lot more your church can do.
Share with us in the comments below what you’ve found helpful.