Okay. The big day is in the books. Whether you accomplished all of your goals or not, God was glorified and honored. However, now there is work to do. How do you respond to the big day?
Celebrate, but be careful what you celebrate from the big day.
Don’t just blow past this. God did some amazing things in the lives of many. Celebrate! Celebration is often a discipline. Rejoice in what God did no matter what. Celebrate decisions. Celebrate stories. Celebrate the crowds. However, I offer one word of caution: What you celebrate communicates what you value. If you only celebrate packed auditoriums and parking lots, then what do you have to celebrate next Sunday? Can you only celebrate God when the room is full? Keep in mind that most people are more moved by stories than by numbers. Focus on the individual stories of life change that have happened and continue to happen because of the big day. People just want to know that God is using them to make a difference in the lives of others.
Debrief every component of the big day.
You are not done with the big day until you have fully debriefed it. You need to dismantle it and learn from every component of it. What are the things you did for Easter that could/should be reproduced/transferred to other days? What went right? Always start there! What went wrong? What was missing? What was confusing? What must you fix before next Sunday? Great churches learn their way forward and seek to constantly improve.
Make this big day the new bar.
Now that you have seen what God can do in and through the church, don’t go back to business as usual. If you can knock things out of the park once like this, you have what it takes to do this every Sunday. Make the diligence that went into the big day the new bar for most days. You may have more guests on the regular days over the next ninety days than you had on Easter. You can’t sit down on the job now that the big day is over.
Be Ridiculous about Following Up from the big day.
* Collect people’s information. Ideas? Ask everyone to fill out a communication card. I know churches who conduct a poll of what’s going on in people’s lives and offer them the opportunity to indicate interest in potential teaching topics for the next year. I think this is brilliant because it lets guests know we care about what they are going through and gives us an excuse to collect their basic information.
* If your church is small, people visited because it is small. Lean into it. Give your follow-up a personal touch. If your church is not small how could you make it feel smaller? I am a big fan of handwritten notes by a Volunteer Host or Prayer Team.
* Don’t be afraid of phone calls. Obviously, the pastor(s) can’t call everyone, but you could have a team trained to do so. I don’t think people mind if you call them just to thank them for being our guest and see if they have any questions. They probably won’t answer anyway if they don’t recognize the number, so you can just leave a message. The voicemail could mean a lot to someone.
* Why not email every guest on the big day? Have a volunteer team in the back room entering in all the new guest information into your database and have an email campaign queued and ready to go. You could even send a series of four-five emails if they are content driven. You can build a relationship with your new guests over the next few weeks by speaking to the fears and concerns about the church. Below is an example or template for five different posts that could be used to build a relationship with new guests by speaking to the fears and concerns they might have about the church. Use an email to speak about each one of these fears and talk about how our church is different. Be careful, however, that you deliver on what you promise.
5 Reasons Most People Don’t Like Church (A five-part series)
“We Don’t Feel Like the Church is Relevant.”
“We Feel Like We Have to Get Cleaned up Before We Show Up.”
“We Don’t Feel Like There Are People We Can Connect with Here.”
“We don’t like being preached at.”
“The church is all about our money.”
Get the house of God ready for our new guests to visit again after the big day.
The scary part? Some of your guests may come back this Sunday! That’s the main goal of the big day, right? This means you have a lot riding on this Sunday, as well. Make sure their second impression is as strong as their first . . . so let’s go. Let’s make the house of God ready again.
This post was originally published at CourageToLead.com. Photo via GraphicStock.