OK. The big day is in the books. Whether we accomplished all of our goals or not, God was here, glorified and honored! However, there's still work to do. How do we respond to a BIG DAY?
Celebrate, but be careful what you celebrate from the BIG DAY.
Don’t just blow past this. God did some amazing things in the lives of many. Celebrate! Celebration is often a discipline. Rejoice in what God did no matter what. Celebrate decisions. Celebrate stories. Celebrate the crowds. However, I offer one word of caution: What we celebrate communicates what we value. If we only celebrate packed auditoriums and parking lots, then what do we have to celebrate next Sunday? Can we only celebrate God when the room is full? Keep in mind that most people are more moved by stories than by numbers. Focus on the individual stories of life change that have happened and continue to happen because of our big day. People just want to know that God is using them to make a difference in the lives of others.
Debrief every component of the BIG DAY.
We are not done with a BIG DAY until we have fully debriefed it. We need to dismantle it and learn from every component of it. What are the things we did for Easter that could/should be reproduced/transferred to other days? What went right? Always start there! What went wrong? What was missing? What was confusing? What must we fix before next Sunday? Great churches learn their way forward and seek to constantly improve.
Make this BIG DAY the new bar.
Now that we have seen what God can do in and through us, we can not go back to business as usual. If we can knock things out of the park once like this, we have what it takes to do this every Sunday! Make the diligence that went into the BIG DAY the new bar for most days! We will perhaps have more guests on the regular days over the next ninety days than we had on Easter. We can not sit down on the job now that the big day is over. We are better and we can stay better!
Be Ridiculous About Following Up from our BIG DAY.
* Collect people’s information. Ideas? Ask everyone to fill out a Communication Card. I know churches who conduct a poll of what’s going on in people’s lives and offer them the opportunity to indicate interest in potential teaching topics for the next year. I think this is brilliant because it lets guests know we care about what they are going through and gives us an excuse to collect their basic information!
* If our church is small, people visited because we were small. Lean into it! Give your follow-up a personal touch. If our church is NOT small how could we make it FEEL smaller? I am a big fan of handwritten notes by a Volunteer Host or Prayer Team.
* Don’t be afraid of phone calls. Obviously, the pastor(s) can’t call everyone, but we could have a team trained to do so. I don’t think people mind if we call them just to thank them for being our guest and see if they have any questions. They probably won’t answer anyway if they don’t recognize the number, so we can just leave a message. The voice mail could mean a lot to someone.
* Why not email every guest ON the BIG DAY? Have a volunteer team in back room entering in all the new guests information into our database and have an email campaign cued and ready to go. You could even send a series of 4-5 emails if they are CONTENT driven. We could build a relationship with our new guests over the next few weeks by speaking to the fears and concerns about our church. Below is an example or template for five different posts that could be used to build a relationship with new guests by speaking to the fears and concerns they might have about our church. Use an email to speak about each one of these fears and talk about how our church is different. Be careful, however, that we deliver on what we promise!
5 Reasons Most People Don’t Like Church (A 5 part series)
“We Don’t Feel Like the Church is Relevant.”
“We Feel Like We Have to Get Cleaned up Before We Show Up.”
“We Don’t Feel Like There Are People We Can Connect with Here.”
“We don’t like being preached at.”
“The church is all about our money.”
Get the house of God ready for our new guests to visit again after the BIG DAY.
The scary part? Some of our guests may come back this Sunday! That’s the main goal of a big day, right? This means we have a lot riding on this Sunday, as well! We have a lot to do! We need to make sure their second impression is as strong as their first...so let’s go! Let’s make the house of God ready...again!