On October 20th our congregation celebrated its third anniversary. Many of you were praying for this to be a successful evangelistic opportunity. Those prayers appear to have been heard and answered.
The previous month we had mentioned that our goal was to double our attendance for the anniversary date. We may have shown a slight lack of faith as we set up chairs in preparation on Sunday morning. We had enough chairs available for 150 and we were left speechless as those chairs filled and some of our men went through the building pulling out all the extra chairs from classrooms in order to seat nearly 250 people. Quadrupled attendance!
The next day as we did our normal “review” and analyzed what had happened, we asked ourselves, “why did this work?” aside from the obvious answer that God is great, and has blessed us we needed to figure out what went right, and how so that we could repeat it.
The answer seems to lies somewhere within membership involvement. Leading up to the “Big Day” we essentially divided the congregation into 3 teams:
1. Promotion – this group of members met at Bartons house for about 3 weeks developing and carrying out a plan to promote the anniversary to the public and get the word out. This included handing out thousands of flyers, running the TV spots, and newspaper announcements, as well as radio and tv interviews with members.
2. Membership Involvement – this group of christians met at my house and developed a plan for how to be sure that ALL the members participate and get involved. We decided that we should try to make it easy to invite people. So we made formal and elegant anniversary invitations (3 per member) and in the invitation added a program of what to expect. After the service was a meal, and a Bible giveaway.
3. Follow up – This is mostly the younger crowd from church that meets at the house of our interns. Their job was twofold. 1. to follow up with all previous visitors or members who haven’t been attending, and personally inviting them. They basically had a pizza party and divided the lists amongst themselves, and called everyone… it worked. 2. They were to follow up with everyone who came to the anniversary; thanking them for coming and leading them towards a personal Bible study.
so, thank you again for your prayers and please continue to pray for us as we experiment with these evangelism and outreach strategies and how to make them work in the future.
This was a big win. It was an encouraging day that the congregation and the missionaries needed. Thank you God 🙂