For years as a church leader I would proudly declare that “every weekend at our church is ‘special’ … we don’t do ‘special weekends’ because new guests arrive every weekend at our church!'” It sounded so good when I said it! It came from a good spot … wanting to ensure the quality of our guest experience was great every weekend. The only problem is that it was flawed thinking … I was justifying our strategy on what made it best for us rather than how our guests acted.
“Big Days” is a strategic approach to how to communicate with your community about when they should invite their friends to your church. Three or four times a year all the organizational focus goes into creating a weekend experience that is the most enticing experience you can craft. You focus the majority of your promotional efforts towards these few weekends. You work hard to ensue that the programming is engaging and extra “outsider” friendly. You line up a pile of social media communication to point people towards this weekend. You make it a “Big Day!” Here are some of the benefits I’ve seen to this strategy over the last few years …
- “New” Reaches New People // When every weekend at your church is the same it’s hard for your people to articulate to their friends why they should come on any given weekend. However, when you package up something special for a weekend it invites your people to think of friends in their network that might be interested in coming. People like “new and improved” … and a Big Day strategy helps your people tell their friends what’s new and improved at your church!
- Stretches Believers // At the core of a Big Day strategy is your people inviting their friends to come to church. When you take time out to engage your people to invite their friends it stretches and grows them in their faith. It helps them to see themselves as core to the strategy of what God is doing at your church. It invites them to a deeper level of commitment.
- Focus for Momentum // Forward momentum is created by focusing energy on a few things as a organization. Big Days are an excuse to rally your entire leadership team to work together on something to make a difference in the life of your church. This focus is healthy as it breaks down the natural “silos” that can develop in organizations of any size! As your entire team focuses on the shared outcome of a great Big Day it helps the church take steps forward.
- Leverage Key Timing // There are times throughout the year that people are more open to attending church for the first time. (Easter, Christmas, Back to School, January, Mothers’ Day) The times of year can vary depending on the culture you are a part of. A Big Day strategy leverages this “natural” cultural openness.
- Scarcity Motivates Action // It’s a human fact that people are motivated to make a decision when time is running out on the opportunity. Big Days are by definition time bound … the following week you are back to your “regularly scheduled programming”. This “artificial scarcity” motivates people to decide whether or not to come to your church. The scarcity is implied because it’s not like any other weekend at your church … potentially ever!
- “Pull Out The Stops” Programming // These Big Days give your creative and programming people the opportunity to do something bigger and better than normal. It challenges them to stretch their creative skills and see what they can accomplish. No matter how amazing a normal weekend is at your church is … it will become “bland” for your creative people after repeating a similar outcome 50+ weekends a year.
What are some examples of “Big Days” that you’ve hosted at your church? I’d love you to share your insights in the comments.