In my home, the official countdown to Christmas starts on September 24. Why so early? September 24 is 90 days out from Christmas Eve. Having young children and also having served on staff of a large church for 13 years, getting ready for Christmas is a big deal.
Then there is the clock that starts counting on December 26. You might think I mean planning for Easter or maybe even next Christmas. But the After Christmas Clock counts how long is takes the church to follow up with all the new (and even repeat) visitors who will attend the Christmas services.
So much planning and strategy go into every detail of the promotion and execution of the Christmas services. Does the same amount of effort go into your follow-up plan? Reaching out to visitors can sometimes get lost in the post-holiday aftermath. Even having a scheduled email that includes a “thank you for visiting” message as well as information on the next sermon series or schedule of events can go a long way to making sure visitors know you want them to return.
Once you take care of connecting with the people, be sure to also take the time to look at the real cost of Christmas to your church.
Year after year, I see churches invest significant money and effort into elaborate, beautiful, and meaningful Christmas services that undoubtedly create a spike in attendance. Church events can have a significant role in a church’s overall plan for growth and encouragement. Still, sometimes it’s beneficial to take a new look at your methods—and ask, “Do our church’s large events produce lasting growth?”
Many churches track attendance year-over-year, that’s not a new metric. But what does the growth trend look like in the 4-6 weekends ‘after’ Christmas (or any large, church-wide event for that matter)?
Gathering actual data to show the true cost/benefit ratio and how each event segues into people’s next steps or spiritual growth is critical. This type of insight can lead to data-driven decisions that shape the planning, production, and post-event follow up for all church-wide events in 2018 … and beyond.
If you don’t have access to such data, consider learning more about how FellowshipOne can help your staff gain visibility to your church data.