Friday, September 14, 2007

Movitating Your People to Invite is another good site for pastors. Here's recent posting from Pastor Dave Ferguson:

Ask the Experts Discussion: Dave Ferguson

How do you motivate your congregation to bring friends and family each week?

Since the vision statement of Community Christian Church is "helping people find their way back to God," we spend a lot of time dreaming, discussing, and talking about how we can do a better job of motivating our people to invite their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. As a result, during the last eight years, we have grown from 700 people in attendance to 5,000 people.

So here are a couple of suggestions:

Ask every week. We often overlook the most obvious solution—ask them! When is the last time you stood in front of your church and said, "Next week is going to be a great series to invite your friends, neighbors, family and co-workers to join you. Will you join me and ask someone who doesn't go to church to come with you?" We complain that people in our churches do not invite others, but do we ask them? Just about every week we ask our people to invite and include new people.

Ignite twice a year. Twice a year we do something we call "Ignite." Ignite is a combination of three key components: marketing, "wow," and invitation.

  • Marketing. For Ignite, we pick a high interest Big Idea and then spend some money marketing the series to the community. We have used a lot of different types of marketing: direct mail, billboards, newspapers, door hangers, and so on. Be creative.
  • "Wow." The "wow" is the reaction that we want from people who visit for the very first time. The "wow" will show up in every area of ministry—the "wow" of over-the-top hospitality from the time you pull into the parking lot to the time you leave. The "wow" will show up in our Kid's City and cause the kids to insist that they come back next week. The "wow" will be seen in our celebration service as we use our very best musicians and artists on those weekends. Everyone on our staff and volunteer teams takes everything up a notch to make sure we create a "wow."
  • Invitation. We challenge our people to bring three people with them during the Ignite series. We will give them high-quality invitations to put into the hands of their friends and remind them that 50 percent of all people who are asked to go to church will say "yes."

The twice-a-year Ignite campaign helps instill the value that we are all about "helping people find their way back to God" all year long.

(By the way, we learned a lot about Ignite from Cedar Creek Community Church in Toledo, Ohio—they are the experts and call it the BIG PUSH.)