The Church halls are decked with Christmas lights, ornaments and boughs of evergreen; the little bell ringers, drummer boys and pageant characters are ready to take their place on stage. It is the season for celebration, not to be confined to the four walls of the church; no, we have far more reason to celebrate than is allowed to be contained. It is the time to reach out to our community of family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and to perfect strangers. Christ is born and has come to solve our greatest problem! I have compiled a list (I checked it twice) of 7 practical ways for you to “get the word out” about your Christmas event:
7 Ways To Invite People To Your Christmas Church Service
1. Encourage “word-of-mouth” early on
It sounds so obvious, but you would be surprised how many miss the mark when it comes to getting the word out to their own congregation in time for seasonal planning. These days calendars are filled weeks, sometimes months in advance. Bring up the event in weekly announcements early on and include the same info in your church bulletin. Be sure to include dates, times and general information and get more specific as the event nears. Another practical way to invite people to the church Christmas event that often gets overlooked is to encourage members to verbally invite their own family, friends and neighbors. Put together a plan well beforehand, to facilitate this task. The plan might include putting together a package of flyers for each cast member to distribute way in advance of the event.
2. Prepare to send out postcard mailers
One of the most effective outreach methods utilized by churches today is postcard mailers. It is a proven and cost-effective way to increase awareness of what your church has to offer. Many companies offer affordable, full color mailers in a couple standard sizes. Some services provide help with the design, help you customize, or provide templates that can be easily uploaded and personalized.
3. Hang flyers and banners throughout your property and the community
Banners around the church property are a great way to announce the coming Christmas attractions to church attendees, as well as the general public walking or driving by. Another good suggestion is to place posters near local business and shopping centers; or ask retailers if you can hang a poster in their store window. Even small banners inside the church will help build a buzz. Leave them in places designated for posters and flyers such as the bulletin boards and on hallway walls.
4. Your church website
Your website provides the constant visibility needed to view the details of your ministry and is a great asset in announcing and detailing upcoming events. First highlight the event with the essential information like date, time and a summary of the production so busy folks can get the information at a glance; then provide a link to more detail. Be sure to include any cost involved and whether or not childcare will be provided. I also like it when a few photos of last year’s event are included to give me a visual idea of what the event will be like.
5. Social networks
Create an event on Facebook for your program, then be sure to post that event on your church’s Facebook page. Encourage people who have Facebook accounts to send out an invitation to their friends or announce the upcoming event on their wall.
After people register online, ask them to mention you on their social media sites, or “like” on Facebook. A promotional video on YouTube can also be helpful, especially if it’s touching or even humorous; you’ll make an impression and build excitement. Send a direct message to local community organizations, such as the city and Chamber of Commerce, asking them to tweet about your Christmas program. After the event is over, don’t forget to follow up with pictures on your church’s Facebook using tags.
6. Connect with other relevant bloggers
Include the efforts of other bloggers. Connecting to these “like” communities will expand the effect of the event beyond the sphere of your four walls. Personally invite relevant bloggers to your event. Offer to include a link to the article and site of those willing to write about your event.
7. Online Christmas invitation with option to forward
An eVite or similar web-based tool that features tracking, maps or reminders, is a great way to get the word out. To further propagate, an option to forward is also helpful. This option not only cuts costs but it also saves a great deal of time. Be sure to include a subject line with a call-to-action and a sense of urgency. In this day and age it is also nice if you use an application that builds the invite to display on mobile phones.
I welcome comments if you have any other ideas to contribute to the Sharefaith community on how you invite people to your Christmas event(s).