10 Ways to Sabotage Your Church Holiday Service Efforts
As stated in a previous post, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter are excellent opportunities to grow your church. But this won’t just happen. If proper care is not given to this day you can actually end up sabotaging your church holiday efforts.
We must remember that our target audience during this time should be our visitors, more specifically the UNchurched.
We need to design our services around the needs of our UNchurched visitor rather than our regular church attendees. The goal should be to make the service so memorable and impactful that your guests will want to return.
Below is a list of recommended DO’s and DO NOTs so that you won’t blow a great opportunity to grow your church. Let’s first look at some recommendation of what NOT to Do
- be unprepared and wing these services. It will no doubt yield you poor results.
- get someone to read that can’t read well or who reads in a boring monotone voice.
- read King James Bible. It is written in ‘Old English.” Word such as: Thee, thou, beseech, oweth, shouldeth, will serve as stumbling blocks to your targeted ‘UNchurched’ audience.
- showcase a ‘newbie’ singer to lead a song on this day or worst yet showcase a singer who really can’t sing. You have 49 other Sundays to choose from.
- showcase unfamiliar songs that the majority of people have not heard before.
- use a lot of big words and too many spiritual terms. Stay away from words like propitiation, recapitulation, or exegesis, etc. The UNchurched will not be impressed with your extensive spiritual vocabulary.
- extend the length of your service by half hour or hour indicating that the Holy Spirit must have Its way. Many times it is not the Holy Spirit but rather a ‘movement’ of our own agendas.
- Use these C.M.E. days to preach ‘deep’ sermons like the end of the world is closer than you think or sermons that provoke fear, guilt and condemnation, or highly debatable controversial sermons that stir up strong feelings.
- Talk about the C.M.E. attendee either negatively or positively. These attendees often times want to blend into the crowd. To bring attention to them can be counterproductive to your goal.
- Forget to follow up with visitors
- Plan your service.
- Get your ‘BEST’ readers to read scriptures. These readers read with passion and keep listeners engaged.
- Read scriptures from modern day translation. The UNchurched will understand and will be able to relate to what is being read.
- Pull out your ‘BEST’ singers, leads who are comfortable singing in front of and engaging large crowds.
- Sing songs that people are familiar with; catchy songs and songs with a responsive track record meaning every time you sing these songs people get up, clap and sing with you.
- Speak in everyday language. The use of stories and modern day events visitors can relate to will also yield positive results.
- Stay within a reasonable time frame with your service. Keep in mind your visitors, not your regular members. So 15 minutes over may be acceptable, but not a half hour or hour. It will be a stumbling block to your visitors.
- Keep your sermons within the theme of Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter. It is always a winner in picking topics that provide, hope, joy and contentment rather than fear, guilt and condemnation.
- Let all your visitors know that you were glad they came. Invite them back and tell them to pick up their special gift after service.
- Provide a visitor card so they can write their contact information. Collect cards during offering. You can use this information to invite them to other services and events.
We must keep in mind that if we really want to yield positive results in terms of growth, we must keep our visitors and C.M.E. attendees in the forefront of our mind when designing our holiday services.
To review related blog entitled, “Improve Your Church Holiday Services by Planning Ahead.”