A church communicator told me about a church that held a large community outreach. They had free food and fun activities for children and families and they did it all to show the community that the church and Jesus loved them. They had a great turnout, but it didn't result in an increased response in church attendance.
The church communicator became frustrated when she talked to an unchurched friend about it because when she mentioned that her church sponsored it, the friend responded, "Your church did that? I thought the city Parks and Rec department put it on."
We put in a lot of work for events like that and I understood her frustration, but I had to gently ask her if the church gave out any kind of card or flyer to people know who sponsored it and to invite them to the church. She said, "No."
Your guests are not mind-readers
That is a typical response I hear from church leaders who put on outreach events and are disappointed in the long-term results. But, if you don't give people who attend your outreach events information about who is putting on the event and what else goes on at your church they won't know. Without clear communication and a clear invitation to return all your hard work may give people a great time—but will accomplish little in connecting them to the church or introducing them to Jesus.
Even if they know the church is putting on the event, they often don't know what else your church does. What I'm about to tell you is a true story to illustrate this critical reality. In the past my husband and I led a Single Adult Ministry and the church we attended put on many community outreach events. At one of them I asked a single mom if she had ever visited our church on Sunday and did she know we had a Single Adult class? She replied, "You do things every Sunday? I thought the church just put on special events at holiday times."
I wasn't sure how to respond.
As I thought about it later, I realized we can hold lengthy seminars on the post-modern mindset of unchurched people and have an intellectually stimulating time discussing the implications of it while sometimes forgetting it means that people who grew up without any conception of a Christian church really have no idea what a church does on a weekly basis.
We have to tell them.
A simple invitation card is the first step
A simple card like the ones below isn't an entire outreach strategy, but an important initial first step. It lets people know who is putting on the event and gives them basic details for connecting with your church. The cards are a generic thank you and invitation on the front. They are designed for you to put specific information about your church or ministry on the back.
These are non-specific and you could make them up to give out at any event your church does during the summer.
The Zip file below the images contains:
- Lo-res images of all the cards that you can use for the web
- Editable MS Publisher Template file so you can change the cards in any way you want
- Ready-to-print PDFs
Summer Back-to-Church invitation file images and below them is the link to the ZIP file to download them
CLICK the following link to download the ZIP file that has the PDFs and MS Publisher original files: Summer church invite cards for summer events