As the BIG conclusion of the year is upon us, it’s really important for churches to leverage the Christmas season to reach out to the unchurched in our communities during this time. There is no other time of year, when the general population have hearts open to the Gospel like Christmas. So what are you going to do to “Finish Strong” this year during Christmas? Here are a few ideas:
1. Christian, decide now who you will invite to attend a church service/gathering with you between now and Christmas. Pray for them and then invite them.
2. Pastor, strategically think and pray about what you will preach after Christmas that will stir the desire in that first-time guest to come back.
3. Churches, don’t deviate too much from the consistency of what you offer every Sunday throughout the year for Christmas. If you do, it will set up that second-time guest for disappointment when the return to discover “what church is really like the rest of the year”. Consistency is key!
I recently came across these first-time guest stats that are useful in prayerfully framing outreach for Christmas:
Here’s some data from Gary McIntosh and Charles Arn in their book What Every Pastor Should Know: 101 Indispensable Rules of Thumb for Leading Your Church:
- If the church is growing, you’ll need more guests each year than you have people in your total average attendance. In other words, a growing church of 500 will need more than 500 guests in a year.
- The typical growing church sees 20% of first-time guests become part of the church.
- Growing churches see nearly 40% of second-time guests become part of the church.
- Close to 60% of people will become part of the church after their third visit.
Your first goal should be to get first-time visitors to come back. The goal isn’t to get them immediately connected into a group or serving or to become a member after their first visit. The odds of them making those connections substantially increase, though, after a second or third visit.
God bless you and all you do for Him this Christmas!