The January Bump: Game-Changing Perspective on Christmas Attendance Targets for Your Church

A New Metric for Success: The January Bump

Traditionally, we judge the success of our Christmas services by the number of attendees. But what if we shifted our focus to what I like to call the ‘January bump’? Imagine measuring success not just by the numbers during Christmas but by the increase in attendance we see in January. This approach pushes us to think strategically about how we can leverage our Christmas services to foster long-term engagement.

The Christmas service is more than just a one-off event; it’s a launching pad for what’s to come. Here are three key strategies:

Strategies During Christmas Services

The Power of the Message: The Christmas message is listened to more intently than any other. This year, I encourage you to weave in a strong hook that leaves an open-ended question pointing towards your January series. It’s about creating curiosity and anticipation for what’s next.

Engaging Announcements: Use the announcement time to pivot towards the new year. A compelling video clip about your upcoming January series can be incredibly effective in setting the stage for what’s coming next.

Return Gifts: This is about giving attendees a reason to come back. Whether it’s a thematic book, a special t-shirt, or another thoughtful gift, it’s a tangible reminder of your church and an invitation to return.

Post-Christmas Experiences

What happens after Christmas is just as important as the service itself. Here are three strategies to keep the momentum going:

Exit Signage: Visual reminders as people leave your Christmas service can reinforce the message about your upcoming series. These can be banners, handheld signs, or digital displays.

Follow-Up Communications: Sending out a thank-you email or text with a shareable element from the service is a great way to stay connected. This could be a snippet of a song, a powerful message, or a visually striking moment from the service.

Surveys: Engage your attendees with a simple survey asking for their feedback on the service and subtly connecting them to the upcoming January series.

Pre-New Year Strategies

Finally, in the run-up to the New Year, consider these strategies:

Personalized Video Invites: A personal touch goes a long way in the digital age. Consider sending out video invites from your lead pastor or team members, directly addressing the recipients and inviting them to your January series.

Direct Mail: Utilize direct mail to remind your congregation of the upcoming series. A well-designed postcard can stand out in the usual pile of bills and advertisements.

Invite Loopback: Reach out to those who invited guests to your Christmas services and encourage them to extend another invitation for your January series.

Looking Forward

As we wrap up this year, let’s not just reflect on the numbers we saw at Christmas but focus on how we can carry that momentum into the New Year. It’s about building a culture that doesn’t just invite but engages and retains.

Remember, each of these strategies is not just about increasing numbers; they are about deepening connections, fostering community, and helping people find their spiritual home with us. Let’s use this festive season not just as a celebration but as a springboard for sustained growth and engagement.

Thank you for joining me on this journey at unSeminary. Your dedication and passion for ministry inspire me daily. I look forward to hearing how these strategies work for you and seeing the incredible ways your communities grow and thrive in the coming year.

Here’s to a transformative and impactful 2024!

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.