Easter is over and you’ve taken some time to rest, but before you put the Easter out of mind, take some time to evaluate the communications you created, the response you had, and how you can be more effective in future church celebrations and seasonal events to help your church grow. Post-event evaluation is essential for us to learn how we can best serve our people. It’s never about us, but about doing our best for our Lord and our effectiveness as we communicate the words of eternal life.
Beyond the numbers, what was the spiritual response?
You probably had a large turn-out for Easter—most churches do. However, though objective numbers are important, in our analysis of the effectiveness of our church communications and marketing, the most important evaluations go beyond numbers to looking at how people respond spiritually.
In the Great Commission, Jesus did not tell us to go into all the world and hold successful church events. He commanded we make disciples. No event we hold, action we take, or ministry we launch is ultimately successful unless it contributes in some way (however tiny the step) to the goal of introducing people to Jesus and helping them grow to mature disciples.
Following are some suggestions for discussion in your upcoming staff meetings to help you make your church celebrations and seasonal events more effective in fully fulfilling the Great Commission.
Count and classify attendees
- How many people attended, but more than that, and this is where it gets challenging:
- How many attendees were regular church members?
- Sporadic church attenders (maybe not members but show up once or twice a month?)
- New people or visitors?
Notes: If you don’t know, the first question you need to ask yourself is why not? Did you have a connection card, prayer card or visitor card? Did you intentionally focus on it and encourage people to fill it out? Did you collect it efficiently and in a non-threatening way?
If you need more information on how to effectively use connection cards for seasonal events and all through the year to grow your church, check out the many resources (including a free ebook) at this link: http://www.effectivechurchcom.com/category/church-communications/church-connection-cards/
If you didn’t collect Connection Cards or didn’t get accurate numbers from them, estimate the percentage of members, sporadic attendees, and visitors and then. . . .
Evaluate your audience
Don’t just hold an event and dash to the next one. As difficult as it might be, take time to discuss the results. YOU MUST be brutally honest with yourself here. If you had a big turnout and everybody had a great time, that is wonderful, but it isn’t enough. Here are some topics you need to discuss:
If your numbers were mostly church members—you need to find out why more didn’t invite friends. Did you have invitations for them? Did you motivate them enough so they wanted to invite their friends? Did your congregation realize that outreach is everyone’s job, not just something the staff buys, as in an expensive postcard mailing?
If you had some sporadic attenders—you need to track if they come back the following week. Did you do anything to strengthen your connection with them, offer anything such as a challenging sermon series, small group discussion or Q&A time that would draw them back?
If you have lots of new faces obviously visiting as member guests—Congratulations! Ask members what made it easy for people to bring friends; find out what appealed to people outside the church. Be sure you have follow-up communications in place in print, social media and sermon series, small group discussion or Q&A time (Latte with the pastor and other opportunities).
See for more follow-up ideas: https://www.effectivechurchcom.com/2010/11/follow-up-after-a-church-holiday-outreach-event-speed-dating-or-relationship-building/
Two more areas to evaluate:
1. What did you give attendees at your event?
If it was only a program, no matter how glorious the colored printing, that may be a serious problem. This is because event communications is a key reason why many church events have little lasting impact on the growth of the church.
For example consider a typical Easter service: Often it is a big production: sets, music, special lighting, candles, beautiful church decorations, sometimes goodies afterwards—all very nice and special. However, I have looked at the programs of Easter services and few of them tell you anything about why the church is doing what it is doing, anything substantive about Jesus, what else the church does, and why anybody should care.
Many churches do not have any take-home material that explains why the death and resurrection of Jesus is important and why he is the unique Savior of the world. Very few Easter programs contain sections that invite people back next week for a sermon series that might interest them or a seeker study that helps them find more about Jesus; nor do most programs contain website links to reasons why Jesus is the reason for the season or an invitation email to dialog anonymously about spiritual questions. And all of this is left out when you have a huge audience of people who never darken the door of the church at any other time, but are there to please family members or to make a neighbor happy.
2. What is on your website and social media?
Do you expect visitors, people new to the church, and sporadic attenders who may have forgotten what is going on at the church to look at your websites and social media?
They will. The important thing is do you have material for them? Have you taken care to make sure your website is up-to-date and that there are links for more information?
Don’t be discouraged—there is always the next celebration!
Truth be told, any church staff that is honest with post-event evaluation will have a number of areas where improvements can be made.
For post-Easter evaluation—Mother’s Day is coming up quickly and this is the BEST evangelistic opportunity time in the church because of all the unchurched husbands and kids who will attend to make mom happy. For lots more about this, check out: https://www.effectivechurchcom.com/category/seasonal/mothers-day/
Don’t dwell on short-comings—press ahead to do better with upcoming opportunities! God gives us many times to celebrate, let’s use them all to invite people into the eternal joy of a relationship with Jesus!
Or lots more on how to make the most of church celebrations and other topics related to church communications, please go to: http://www.effectivechurchcom.com