Our Campaign is Over…Now What?!?
Your church, like ours, may run special outreach campaigns throughout the year. These are exciting events, usually lasting four to six weeks in our ministry, where an extra emphasis is placed on sharing the gospel with more people, passing out more invitations, utilizing additional promotions, and seeing more “fruit” than an “average” Sunday.
I have been the bus director of our church, overseeing more than twenty-five of these campaigns, since 2000. Because of God’s blessing and the diligence of the faithful workers in our ministry, we have seen greatly increased results during each campaign. Our weekly attendance rises, the number of first-time visitors multiplies, and many people make life-changing decisions for Christ.
What do you do when the campaign ends? How do you carry momentum from the special days into the “regular days” of ministry?
There are two words that are key to making the most of any special day or ministry campaign. These two very important words will help you effectively maximize the effects of a successful campaign long after the campaign is over…Follow up!
When the campaign is over, the work is not done. Following a “Big Day” or special campaign, follow up on:
- Regular Attendees
Don’t neglect your faithful bus riders or Sunday school students because of the increase in new people coming. Stay connected with those who faithfully attend while you seek to integrate new people into your ministry. There is no benefit to adding a new rider on your bus only to lose a long-time rider because you neglected your relationship with him.
If your special day is successful, you will have an influx of first-time visitors. The goal of any campaign is to see many of these visitors become regulars. Generally, you have a one to two-week window of time to get them to return and begin to integrate into your ministry. The longer you wait to follow up, the less likely it is that they will return. Every visitor needs a personal visit in the week following his or her visit! Get to know them, and do everything you can to see them return to church a second time.
If you have ever canvassed an area, inviting folks to a special day at your church, you know that more than 50% of the people who express interest in coming, and may even promise to come, do not show up for that special day. They will give you their information and tell you they are coming. But, they forget, they oversleep, or they choose to spend their time in some other way. Something comes up, and they don’t make it. DON’T GIVE UP ON THEM if they don’t come after the first invitation. Many of these folks will visit and have their lives changed by Christ…IF you will continue to follow up on them. One of the greatest results of a campaign is not just the new people that come during the campaign. It is the large number of new prospects that were signed up that didn’t come. These are “hot prospects” that you can now begin working with.
Undoubtedly, many of those who visit your ministry will make decisions for Christ. Some may trust Him as Savior. Others will make important decisions in their life. Follow up on these decisions and help them in the next step of their Christian growth. Follow up on those who are saved to explain baptism. For those who are baptized, you may want to follow up with them by bringing a Bible and stressing the importance of church attendance and personal Bible reading. Find out where they are in their life, and help them take the next important step for Christ.
Our goal, in any campaign, is to see “fruit that remains.” In order for this to happen, you must be committed long after the excitement of the “Big Day” wears off.
So, your campaign is over. Now what?!? Go follow up and reap the results of a short campaign for weeks, months, and even years!