Now’s the time to prepare for Easter celebrations, one of the largest attended services each calendar year. We tend to gear up, plan outreach and develop creative invitations. For some reason people like to visit during the Easter season. I am glad they do. Each attender has the potential to have an open heart to receive God’s Good News. Our job is to invite, nurture and enhance their experience. So we plan carefully.
This year we will be having some special invite cards, playing off the PEEPs idea encouraging people to take a box of Peeps with a connect card to their friends and neighbors inviting them to our Easter Services. Bring your Peeps to the Vineyard this year. (Hey, I know it’s corny, but corny can be fun)
We will also launch our Giant Easter Egg Hunt which has attracted thousands of people over the last several years. I call this broadcast event:
In one chapter I mention the concept of visibility evangelism
it’s the consistent, being out there, going, sowing, caring, praying, serving others component.
Consistently going into a community can raise visibility and re-define who you are to your community. We often define ourselves by what we believe. Our communities, on the other hand, define us by what we do. Often people define us by saying, “Oh, your that pretty good church that does so much for our community.”
Here are a few visibility tips:
Advertise. During major holiday seasons, use newspapers, web-sites, blogs. Develop tickets or invitations to give to your people so they can invite their friends, families or workmates.
Think professional, upbeat, fun, colorful, and memorable. Think about developing sticky Ideas… that stick.
Establish High Impact Community / Church-wide On-ramps. Easter Egg Hunt, Summer Community FunFests, Block Parties, 4th of July water giveaway, Turkey’s giving away Turkeys, Stuff the Bus, Halloween Funfest and our Christmas Party for the less-served make a huge impact on our community. Last year over 1000 people served in some way as we moved out into the community to create God Space.
People who serve others also tend to be more outward focused, more balanced, more caring, and more likely to share their faith with others than those who do not serve.
Consistency. This is the key to raising your visibility within your community. We have our outreach year seasonally planned. We are consistent. We just keep on keeping on. We go. We share. We serve. We care. We also seek to be openhearted people who are Bringers and Includers. This is the hard work Jesus spoke about in John 4.
35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.36 Even now those who reap draw their wages, even now they harvest the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.
38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
Because of our hard work the community now defines us as the pretty good church who actively cares for our community.
Each week people from our community come to the Vineyard to check us out. Many, discover faith, then begin to go out to serve others. It’s the cycle of Sowing, Reaping, and Increasing.