You Are Invited!

By Ken Willard

How do you think most people in your congregation came to this church? Research tells us that the way most people come to church is through some type of invitation. Over the years I’ve asked thousands of people how they first came to their church. The number one response: “I was invited.”

  • Most people who do not have a church home would be inclined to visit a church—if they are invited.
  • The two times a year when un-reached people are most open to being invited to church are Easter and Christmas.

So, how do we use all this information?

Now is a perfect time for your church to be intentional about inviting those in your mission field to attend a Christmas service at your church! Here are a few best practices:

  • Be sure your Christmas service times are highlighted on your website. Most first-time guests will visit the church’s website before they attend a service. Don’t get caught having the wrong times listed—or worse—not even listing your main Christmas service.
  • Print up some business cards for your congregation to hand out to their neighbors, friends, and people they meet in the community. It is easier for most people to make an invitation if they have something to give the other person.
    • The card should have the name of your church, address, and website on one side. (This can be in black & white to save expenses.) Keep it very simple. Resist the urge to put more information on the card.
    • The other side should be in color and focus on your Christmas service…maybe a picture of your main theme or sermon series, with the time(s) very clearly listed.
  • If your church has a daycare or school connected to it, give out candy canes to each family. You might want to attach a small card to each of them with the story behind candy canes, what the colors and peppermint flavor represent. It can also give you a chance to invite the parents to your Christmas service.
  • Pick a local business, or two. Take them a gift basket of Christmas items. Let them know you appreciate how they are contributing to the community. Invite them to a Christmas service. (Be sensitive to those who might be working on Sunday by letting them know of other service times, or by telling them to come to a service when they are not working.)

How about you? Any other best practices we might have missed? I would love to hear from you any other ideas or best practices we can share with the whole conference.