by Aaron Linne
This Christmas, as always, churches across the nation will be filled to the brim with CEOs (that’s Christmas Easter Only) attenders. For those Christmas service or services, attendance will temporarily skyrocket only to come back down to Earth the next Sunday. The question that bothers many pastors and leaders is this: how can we retain more of those CEOs?
While you can’t retain all of them, there are some steps that everyone can take to turn more CEOs into regular attenders.
Make Everyone Feel Welcome
This should happen every Sunday, but it doesn’t. With the incoming Christmas crowd, churches will assign extra greeters, parking lot workers, ushers, and guest services representatives. Make sure that there are enough volunteers on hand to be readily available if someone needs them. They also need to be easy to spot, so think about buying t-shirts that every volunteer will wear.
Use Announcements Effectively
Before the service starts, many churches display announcement scrolls on the screens. This is a great way to freely advertise your church’s website and social media profiles. Hopefully, guests will come home and check out your website, Facebook page, or Twitter profile and see a vibrant, informative community that they want to be apart of. If you don’t have announcement scrolls on screen, make sure they are somewhere, such as in the bulletin.
Keep up the Creativity
A lot of churches go “all out” for Christmas and feature special media, skits, worship, and more, only to go back on cruise control for every Sunday until Easter. While we must be careful to make sure that everything we do is drawing people to Christ and not just entertainment, we need to keep up the creativity up for the rest of the year. Insert a skit every once in a while. Use a video to start a service or as a sermon illustration. Church isn’t supposed to be boring and the same thing every week. It’s supposed to be an exciting place where lives are being changed.
Highlight Church Activities and Classes
Make sure that you have upcoming church events and all the different small groups highlighted somewhere. If a guest sees something that they think would be interesting, that greatly increases the chance that they will come back to check it out. And when they discover a small group or event, meaningful connections are made.
Pray About It
The most important thing is this: ask God that people’s lives will be changed as they discover the wonder of His birth at your Christmas services. If they connect God, He will take care of the rest.
Do you do anything special for your guests at Christmas?