With any church event, from a one-night, kids’ crusade to a week-long VBS, the ultimate goal is to get as many people as possible to attend. An expansive reach with the resources available translates to smart stewardship and it pleases the Lord. (Remember the story of the man who hid his talents?) However, there is nothing more spiritually deflating then prepping for a hundred children to have only ten show up. Praise God for the ten but sow for the hundred! I’ve found a combination of today’s technology and relationship building helps me reach more kids in my community. I regularly use these five methods for boosting my kids’ event attendance.
I create an event on Facebook. Like it or hate it, your church members are using Facebook. Don’t fight technology, put it to good use. I create an event page that links to my church’s main Facebook page. I work hard to keep down the clutter by adding only the important information like date, time, location and any theme. Then, I send Facebook invites to the page, that way I can keep everyone updated on the progress and post important notes.
I create a regular stream of photo updates. I take many photos with my iPhone during brainstorming sessions, prop building meetings and skit rehearsals. I stir interest in my event by posting a new picture every day. (I have learned to curb my enthusiasm with the photos because posting too many, too frequently looks kind of “spammy.”) My kids love seeing the photos and special teasers about prizes and games.
I have two or more outreach events to support the larger event. For example, for my most recent kids crusade, I held two outreaches. One was a candy blitz at a nearby apartment building, (that is just handing out candy and flyers.) The other was a bottled water giveaway (completely free) to the traffic at a nearby four-way stop. We met a lot of thirsty drivers and handed out tons of flyers.
I issued the “Take Five” challenge. I made a print out that had a cool graphic on one side that said, “Take Five” and a blank list on the other. I asked kids to write down the names of five friends they want to bring to the kids’ crusade. In our case, since it was a family event, I encouraged them to include grown ups too. Pretty soon, the kids were buzzing about who they wanted to bring. I told my kids that anyone who completed the Take Five challenge by bringing five friends to the crusade would receive special recognition from the pastoral staff. (A cool certificate and a round of applause.)
I set up a prize table. I am blessed to have so many generous givers in my church. I set up a prize table a few weeks before the event. Anyone who wanted to donate new toys for the crusade giveaway could put there items on the table. I decorated it and left plenty of flyers for visitors to take with them.
I hope these ideas help you build your ministry event attendance. Meeting new faces and families are what ministry is all about!