Beginning in October, many churches enter a flurry of holiday activities. More than likely you will be working in an outreach activity like a fall festival or Christmas play.
Planning an outreach and pulling it off can be exhausting. However you shouldn’t hang your sneakers up just because your children’s ministry outreach is over. It’s at the end of the day when you actually get to reap a harvest from your labor. Maximize the return for your children’s ministry outreach. Use these practical ideas to help you reach the most people you can and reap a plentiful harvest after the children’s outreach.
It’s very important to make contact with your outreach visitors, especially children, the day or two after your event. A good rule of thumb for establishing contact is to use the 2+2+2 rule. This formula simply means contact visitors two days, two weeks and two months after your first contact. The first communication should be by phone. This is a task that shouldn’t be delegated. As children’s pastor or leader it is your responsibility to build relationships with the children you lead.
Start your phone call by always identifying who you are and where you are from. Ask the parent or some other adult’s permission before speaking with the child. Identify yourself to the child and address the child by name. Make some notes about your conversation and write them on paper. Thank the child for attending your event and ask them some leading questions. Examples would be, “What was your favorite part?” Or “Wasn’t it funny when…” Invite the child to your next service and assure them that you will be looking for them. Provide them with information about what to wear and what to expect. Offer transportation if your church provides that and follow through on their behalf with the bus ministry.
If, after two weeks you’ve not seen the child, call again. Make your conversation brief but encourage the child and his family to come to church. It’s difficult for some busy families to adjust their schedule to accommodate for church. Be patient but encouraging.
If, after two months you’ve not seen any fruit from your attempts, add the family to your prayer list. You might also want to send a card with your contact information. This will leave the ball in their court and leave the door open for a future relationship.
Add To Lists
During your first contact calls ask if you can add the child to your mailing list. Send the visitors a copy of the weekly children’s church bulletin or monthly newsletter from your ministry. Transfer any birthday information, address and contact information to your church database. This will help the other ministries of the church be able to contact the potential new families. Prayer teams should be given copies of children’s prayer requests you may have collected from contact calls.
Trying to find a pastor on a Sunday afternoon used to be an impossible task. That’s because that day was set apart to visit the flock and minister to those who couldn’t make it to church. Visitation is making a comeback and has found its way into children’s ministry. Visitation is a useful and fun tool that should be used after your children’s outreach. Start by visiting children who were invited by other children. You might take your regular children with you or have them meet you for a fun, quick visit. Take their favorite snacks like OREO’s or some chips. Visit kids for a few minutes. Let them show your room and meet their family. Bring a ball and have some fun outdoors for a few minutes. Keep the visits brief but fun.