I have two passions for ministry: children's ministry and outreach. And believe it or not, the two go hand in hand quite a bit.
For a lot of us, we spend months and months out of the year working on the latter of these two ministry areas in hopes of enhancing the other. We visit Facebook groups, look at websites, make phone calls, email perspective KidMin evangelists, book hotel rooms, facilitate a meet and greet; all for the sake of getting a full house one weekend. Our hope is that we would stir some interest in the families who come in for our big events such as VBS or a big-time concert or evangelist, but for the most part, we are just hoping for a full house. I want to share with you four strategic keys that will hopefully not just capture a full house but will produce an increase in attendance for your weekend worship services.
The first thing we must do when planning an outreach event, whether it be VBS or some other event, we have to determine who TARGET is. Who are you hoping will fill your seats and ultimately come back to your church for a "regular" worship service. Determining that in the beginning is essential in helping make these other three keys work. Your target can be neighborhoods, nearby communities, homes/apartment complexes immediately around your church, etc. It is recommended to have this discussion amongst your church staff or a team of folks within your children's ministry. Get feedback on who folks view the target to be.
The second key to strongly consider is the METHOD of your event. Is your event going to be a "one night only" type event, is it a week-long VBS, or some other "get folks in the door" type event? Determining your method will likely determine your approach to communicating details about the event. In communicating details about your event, consider using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help promote your event.
The third key to strategic outreach is to have an OUTCOME HOPED FOR category. Simply put, what are you hoping will happen as a result of the event you are putting together. If this is an evangelistic type event, one of the outcomes you are potentially hoping for are for folks to commit their life to Christ at your event or shortly after. If your event is more geared towards just a big night of fun, what are some things that you would consider "wins" with that motive in place.
The final key for successful outreaches is to REVIEW THE OUTCOME ACHIEVED. Once your event is finished, take some time to review and reflect on the outcome of your event. What were your wins? What areas do you feel need some extra attention to detail as you think ahead to your next outreach opportunity?
As you work towards planning and organizing any event, work with these four keys in mind at all times. Perhaps even keep a little notebook with these four keys in place for each event and look back on each one as you are planning the next one and then watch at how much easier your events get and how many more wins you get to celebrate!