Browse
The Real Mission of Big Events

The Real Mission of Big Events

Posted October 9, 2018 by Jeanette Yates

There is something to be said for the missional strategy that is popular in churches today. This strategy is effective and necessary if we are going to develop meaningful relationships with members of our community. However, completely abandoning the “attractional events” may mean we’re not living out our missional strategy well.

Attractional events—like the fall festivals, trunk-or-treats, and egg hunts—can be vital to the mission of your church. The event itself is not the issue, but the underlying reason we host them might be. If we host a fall festival for the sole purpose of getting people on campus so we can market our “brand,” that is attractional. However, if the purpose is to build meaningful relationships with guests, this is missional. A missional purpose can provide great opportunities to share the gospel in addition to relationship-building.  

How do we make sure we are mission-minded when we host these big on-campus church events?  
 

Know Your “Why”

Attractional events hosted by the church should serve the community. Your on-campus festivals and activities should give the community something beneficial (maybe not tangible, but at the very least, relational). Even large holiday services do the same thing—provide a place for infrequent church visitors to feel welcome during a special time of year. Knowing your purpose for doing something will help you craft the experience. Even more, it will help your marketing efforts.
 

Create an experience

We need to remember the point of a large event is to provide a positive experience that meets a perceived need of the community. This may mean we stop doing some traditions or start something new. Even if the event is an annual staple in your community, don’t be afraid to change it up. Think about the guest experience—from the time they hear about the event, to the time they come on campus, all the way until they leave and even what happens after they leave. What do you want them to experience? Make sure your website and social media have the appropriate information. Include details for those not familiar with your church. Make sure you have plenty of volunteers. Create good signage. Will they want to eat?  Make sure to include an option for food. These are just a few examples of things that will provide a positive impression for your guests.
 

Equip Your Volunteers

One way to turn the event from attractional to missional is to make sure your volunteers know the purpose of the event is to create connections and a lasting impression. Danny is not just manning the bounce house, he is also there to engage people in conversation, which will help him (and you) get to know your community better. When your volunteers and greeters are chatting with guests, make sure they have a script or a guide of talking points that include offering a way for guests to connect with the church.
 

Have a plan for follow up

Attractional events tend to bring large crowds. Beyond just counting numbers, how do you know if the event was successful? Did you make any connections? This can be difficult to assess. It is too simplistic to merely count how many people came to your event (though that may be a metric for the marketing team). To truly assess the missional value, you need to dig a little deeper. Make sure there is a way for people to find out more about your church. Do an informal survey with your volunteers asking them to share their experience with meeting new people. Following the event is also a great opportunity for you to follow up via email or social media and provide next step connection opportunities.
 

The Next Sunday

The next Sunday, and maybe even the next several Sundays, be sure to welcome guests with an emphasis on welcoming those who attended the recent event. Make sure your event volunteers keep their eyes out for new visitors and say hello to any they see. This will go a long way to making a lasting impression on your guests and hopefully bring them back again.  

 

Having an intentional focus on serving, connecting with, and welcoming your community can transform an attractional event into a mission-focused one.

Filed under: Branding, Mission and Vision, Visitor's Perspective, Communications, Holidays, Marketing, Outreach Projects/Events

About the Author

Jeanette Yates

Jeanette Yates is a former stay-at-home mom/Pilates Instructor-turned-UMC Church Communications Director. Using her gifts of storytelling, she enjoys sharing what God is doing in and through her church community & engaging with people online. In her spare time, Jeanette enjoys hiking with her husband and hanging out with her two sons. She is an avid reader and podcast fanatic. Seriously, she loves podcasts! Follow Jeanette on Instagram and Twitter!

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (0)

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

Podcast: Advertising Easter
Podcast: Advertising Easter
0

Posted March 18, 2019 by Bryan Haley

What are the best ways to advertise your Easter services and events?
“But No One Told Me!” Tips on Improving Staff Communication
“But No One Told Me!” Tips on Improving Staff Communication
2

Posted March 13, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

Trying to keep your team in the loop can be overwhelming and frustrating. How do you give people the information they need without overloading their inbox? Read on for some ideas on how to keep your staff up to date—and your day running a little smoother.
Podcast: Easter Branding
Podcast: Easter Branding
0

Posted March 11, 2019 by Bryan Haley

How to create a brand for Easter that is consistent with your church branding and meets the needs of your audience.
5 Places to Listen For Better Leadership
5 Places to Listen For Better Leadership
1

Posted March 6, 2019 by Robert Carnes

Most leaders know how to talk, but don’t fully appreciate the value of listening. Here are five places church marketers can listen to become better leaders.
Podcast: Why Easter?
Podcast: Why Easter?
0

Posted March 4, 2019 by Bryan Haley

An overview of the Easter season, and why churches put so much energy and attention into Easter services.
The 4 Essential Social Media Questions
The 4 Essential Social Media Questions
0

Posted February 27, 2019 by Joel Schaap

Many churches struggle when it comes to social media, but they have everything they need to fix the problem.
How to Utilize Facebook Groups
How to Utilize Facebook Groups
0

Posted February 25, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Groups on Facebook allow people to be a part of an online community that they’re interested in. Your church can use Facebook groups as a way to communicate to your congregation and be actively engaged in the broader community.
What’s Your Platform? Finding the Right Social Media
What’s Your Platform? Finding the Right Social Media
0

Posted February 20, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

How do you decide which social media platform your church should use? Let’s take a look at what makes each of the most popular platforms unique.
Choosing a Facebook Cover Photo
Choosing a Facebook Cover Photo
0

Posted February 18, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Your church's Facebook Page cover photo is prime real estate. It's the largest area you have to visually display something for your church. Here's how to choose the right Facebook cover photo.
Snappy Solutions
Snappy Solutions
2

Posted February 13, 2019 by Matthew Hooper

Snapchat is one of the many social communication options around. It’s unique feature of deleting posts means you needs to navigate this social channel in a completely different way.