He makes some great points and I certainly understand where he’s coming from. But it got me thinking about our growth strategy. I would go so far as to say that we have an “event driven growth strategy.”
What do I mean? I understand that Tony is saying that by doing events we might actually be keeping people from their family activities or what God has called them to do otherwise. I get that. But when it comes to an Outreach strategy, simply attempting to get people to come to church who wouldn’t otherwise, there’s nothing better than an event.
Doing events that are advertised and promoted heavily to the community is a “method” for giving people a reason (other than coming to church) to set foot on your property. Once they’re there you have an opportunity to connect with them, helping them to get over any hesitation they might have to actually coming to one of your services.
We do lots of Outreach events each year, but the 4 main ones are Easter, Kids’ Camp, Welcome Weekend, and Christmas Eve. While some events around these times are obviously not on Sunday, each event includes an invite to attend a Sunday morning service.
For Easter we do “Eggstravaganza.” This is an Easter egg hunt that’s over the top with bounce houses, a petting zoo, face painting, cotton candy, popcorn, and of course, a series of egg hunts running all morning. The event draws a few thousand from the community over a 3 or 4 hour period, many of whom don’t attend our church. They each register and receive an invite to our Easter Sunday services the following weekend. Many come!
Kids’ Camp is the 3rd week of July every year. More than 1,400 kids are expected this year. They will have a blast playing field games, making crafts, and learning about how Jesus loves them in 2 over the top stage productions in our main auditorium. The kid who brings the most friends each day wins a prize and all the kids are given a free “Kids’ Camp T-Shirt” when they bring their parents to a special Kids’ Camp church service the Sunday after camp. Consequently, Kids’ Camp Sunday (4th Sunday in July) is one of our highest attended Sundays of the year! Many who now call our church home, came on Kids’ Camp Sunday and kept on coming after that.
So there you go. For us at least, events are a key to growth!