to connect with unchurced people in the community and to collect information for the purpose of follow-up. Events allow unconnected people to check us out and sometimes provides a service to our community. The key to all outeach events (whether it is a church event or class event) is that they should be designed for the unchurched and not for us and they should include a way to collect information for follow up later.
I’ll use an illustration to make my first point. Imagine that my married adult class enjoys doing family type events where kids can come and enjoy them too. There is nothing wrong with planning events for our members and our families. But an outreach event should intentionally be focused on those we are trying to reach. Suppose the couple who are prospects for our class have no kids. An event planned to connect with them would purposefully be something they enjoy, where the focus is on getting to know them, and the attention is on them. Let’s use bowling as an illustration. We plan it because they like it. We intentionally bowl with them so they can get to know us better. We offer to buy them a soda and popcorn. We ask them about their story. Focus is the real key to planning an outreach event for your class or church.
Secondly, make sure you collect information that would help you follow up after the event. Phone, email, and address are key things to collect so you can connect with them after the event to answer questions and begin establishing a relationship with them.
Prospects become members when they feel that we are interested in them personally. It’s their choice where they attend church. How we treat them helps to make the choice easier to be part of our church family.
Blog post by Sean P. Keith, Sunday School/Discipleship Strategist, Louisiana Baptist Convention