YOU ONLY HAVE 3O DAYS !!!

Over the past several months I have noticed a troubling pattern in the local church and around the country while working with other pastors and churches. I call it the 30 Day Window. Churches work diligently at attracting guests to their services. Many different methods are used; Door Hangers, Mass Mailing, Billboards, and Invitation Cards. For the technologically-adept church, Constant Contact emails, Google Ad Words, Twitter following ,and Facebook Likes, Invites are just a few of the latest tools used by a church to connect to a Internet-savvy world.   A lot of money and effort is placed on getting a person inside the church. But is it working?

ROI (RETURN ON INVESTMENT)

Does using the latest method and spending a lot of money to create a special event translate into a growing, thriving church? The easy way out is to say that we are just “spreading the seed” and it is God’s duty to provide the increase.   Sadly, many well-meaning churches choose this explanation and continue doing what they have always done and getting the response they have always gotten.

Because it’s a church, we believe we get by with this. A business would never be allowed to get by with using this excuse. For businesses, there is a certain ROI that must be received for every dollar that is spent. If they cannot generate a more income than out-go, they either change or die. Should the church emulate the business world? Not always and not in everything, but they should attempt to measure their ROI if possible.   We will talk more about a church ROI in another post. I use it here to get your thought wheels turning.

COMING, BUT NOT GROWING

It is not that these churches are not having guests in their services, but they are not keeping them. In fact, what I am seeing in my church and in the churches of others is our guests disappear after 30 Days. One month they are there and then they just disappear, never connecting and leaving to never grace our doors again. This troubles me; hopefully, you are troubled by this as well.

YOU MUST ANSWER 3 QUESTIONS

Over the next several months, I want to explore this 30 Day Window and give my thoughts and hopefully hear from you.   By working together, maybe you and I can stop this 30 day turnover and grow our churches.   Do you know the answers to these three questions;

1. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR GUEST CAME FROM?

If you don’t already have a Guest Services Department, First Impressions or Connect Ministry, you may want to consider developing such a ministry where your greeters do more than shake a guest’s hand and writes the name and address down. Great greeters make learning more about their guests a priority. The more you know about why the guest came, who invited them, and their needs the more ways you can connect to them.

Nelson Searcy, pastor of The Journey Church, in New York City has focused his efforts on the assimilation of guests into the church and has experienced great growth as a result. His book, Fusion, details the process they use to retain their guests and turn them into regular attendees.

2. WHAT DOES YOUR GUEST LEAVE WITH?

Put yourself in your Guest’s shoes. If you were a guest for the first time in your church, what would be important to know?   Do you have Guest Packet that provides this information? Having the guest return may hinge on how many questions you can answer with the information in the Guest Packet.

3. WHAT IS YOUR GUEST FOLLOW-UP POA (PLAN OF ACTION)?

By this, I don’t mean a form letter, but a systematic process. Do you have a working process that you implement every Sunday for the First-Time Guest, the Returning Guest, and those who are approaching the 30-Day Window?   If you don’t have a plan, consider implementing one soon.

Every opportunity you have to connect with your guest outside of the church should be considered. Perception Management is critical to moving beyond the 30 Day Window.

We’ll discuss Guest Follow-Up Plans, Perception Management, and more in later blog posts. I look forward to discussing this with you in the comment section below and future blogs.

George

4 Reasons To Have A Baptism Sunday

 

The church in which I serve is having a Baptism Sunday event for the first time.  Our old method and model has been to baptize whoever, whenever they desired baptism.  I still believe this to be a viable option for all who desire to be baptized.  However, we have several attending who haven’t shown an interest to make this needful step of God’s salvation plan.  For this reason, we planned our first ever Baptism Sunday.

Baptism Sundays have been a part of many churches for years.  As I looked for information about these types of events, I found it’s not just the large churches who have Baptism Sundays.   Church plants, rural churches, and old main-line churches have started hosting Baptism Sundays.   Not all of the baptisms happen in a church setting, either.  You will find churches baptizing on the beach, in the creek, a member’s pool,  a pond, or a river.

Scheduling varies as well.  Some churches have a monthly baptism. Others have a quarterly baptism, or yearly baptism.  How often a church baptizes depends on how quickly the church is growing and the need to connect them to the membership body.

Here are the reasons we considered having a Baptism Sunday for the first time.

To Draw Attention To The Need For Baptism

    In our metropolitan area, we found many were in need of baptism.  Some had been baptized at an early age and never considered how they had lived their life since that act of baptism.   Others who started attending didn’t realize there was a need for baptism, while other had lived life in such a way to make the act of baptism a necessary next step in their road to recovery and salvation.
    By having a Baptism Sunday, we created an awareness of their need to be baptized.  It allowed the church the opportunity to stress the importance of baptism and the value we as a church place on it.

To Give Baptism Value

    The focused attention from the church on the matter of baptism increased the value of baptism in the eyes of those new to the church. For those who had already participated in baptism, they were reminded again of their personal experience and baptism’s necessity in their salvation process.

We ordered special Banners, Bulletins, Tracts, and Signs to create a buzz and provide emphasis to those coming through our doors. Since it was our first time to host a Baptism Sunday, we used promotional material from Outreach.com.   Future Baptism Sundays may include special T-shirts, classes and targeted outreach.

To Give Biblical Instruction

    Our church was intentional about sharing the need for baptism.  Time was dedicated every Sunday to teach about the Biblical mandate for baptism.  Every classroom from ages 6 and up, took time to discuss baptism and each person’s individual need to be baptized.  A special bulletin lesson was used and taught in the adult class or Worship Experience each week leading up to Baptism Sunday.

To Increase Member’s Commitment

    Let’s be honest – we all are concerned about our attendance numbers and how committed our members are to the church.  We held a Baptism Sunday service to increase both.
    Leadership guru’s and church consultants are in agreement on the fact that most employees or members do not move forward because we don’t ask for specific, actionable steps.  When individuals understand what is expected of them and the action that is required, many will respond positively in that direction.
    For our church, we asked for people to participate in Baptism Sunday by serving or taking the step of baptism.  Either step creates a form of commitment on the individual’s part.  Both will serve to connect them to our church in a greater way.  We created teams to serve our altar area and at the baptismal tank.  Another new team, Next Steps, will provide additional information to those baptized about what they can expect from the church and friends.  It’s also a time to explain how to live an overcoming life.
    We are a week away from our first Baptism Sunday.  At this time, we are excited about who has already shown interest in being a part of our service.  New faces have shown up and expressed interest in being a part.  There are some old faces who called and said they want to participate now that we have taught specifically why and how we are to be baptized.  If one is baptized it will be a great day.  If we baptize someone who has attended, but never committed to God or church, it will be an exceptional day.  Someone will be baptized.
    Knowing our church has placed an emphasis on baptism will make this event life changing for our church members.
    What other reasons might you have for hosting a Baptism Sunday?  Feel free to share below.

Are You Ready For Easter?

If you’re like me, this has been a busy month.  Preparations abound for the biggest event of this year; Easter.  Design work on special banners, invitations, Power Point slides and Web slides.  The list is endless.

Having good people who share the burden is so important in these times. For me, in the midst of this hustle and bustle, finding the time to transfer vision, expectations, and urgency brings about its own set of issues.  Will they, can they, how could they!  Yet, I have found the key is perseverance.

Perseverance: the ability to keep on keeping on.  You can’t do it alone.  You must allow your volunteers to join you in the effort to make a difference in the lives of others and the church.   It’s this joint effort that builds community, accountability, and the knowledge of what excellence looks like.

I’d like to hear your thoughts about what you did this Easter to get ready for the crowd you expect to come

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A New Year Of Opportunity

Thanks for all who have supported the mission of PewLead these past years.  2017 promises to be our best year yet.   Several new ventures and ministries are on the horizon.  The next few months will bring them to fruition.

We pray your patience as we work through each initiative and work to produce  a ministry product you can be proud of.

We will soon be starting a BLOG.  If you are anything like us, there are some we subscribe to that has more hits than misses.  But a lot of them are deleted without even a casual glance at the title.  PewLead’s Blog will be different.

Yes, everyone says they will be different, but we mean it.  We hate reading long blogs with great titles, only to find they were a lot of words.  We like blogs that get right to the point.  Short and Sweet!

So here is the first promise:  PewLead’s Blog will be a 2 minute read.  If you want to know or discuss more, we will have a link to another page or to our FaceBook Group.  Blogs will be issued no more than once a week.  Who else works around here? Time is valuable to all of us.

The second promise: If we promote or sale something…the price will be given by the third paragraph.  No reading/or scrolling to the bottom of endless pages , testimonials, and promises.  Upfront it will be.