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How to Extend an Event and Foster Real Engagement and Relationships

Disciples aren’t made by inviting people to events. We make disciples by bringing people into community and equipping the community to build each other up.

 

Without a strategic framework, your team might be leaving ministry opportunities on the table. And those missed opportunities might limit the spiritual growth and development of folks in your community.

 

Think about the last event campaign you put together – were most of your efforts put toward planning, organizing, and promoting the event? The event happened. And then what?

 

Jeff Hook, our Communitas Technologies Founder, often asks the question:

 

            “When does the sermon end?”

 

He usually lets folks sit in silence for a minute and then follows up with, “when people stop talking about it.”

 

I share that to frame an opportunity for you and your church.

 

As you plan your next ministry event, think about everyone that touches any part of the effort. Don’t just meet with the folks on the ministry team putting together the event. Invite everyone to the table, including your congregation.

 

As a Church Communicator, you play an essential role in helping ministries be more congregant-centric and are part of your church’s discipleship efforts. Ministry departments can quickly become siloed as they focus on their target audiences, something I know you know all too well.

 

Given your experience, you inherently have a holistic view of your congregation, community, and ministries. Make sure your event has a clear objective, audience, call-to-action(s), and definition of success that you can build around.

 

What content could you build with your new event team to empower your entire congregation to participate in making the next event a success, not just on the day of the event but throughout continuing conversations?

 

Some ideas:

 

  • A quick video invite and instructions for folks at each stage of your Discipleship Pathway

  • Personalized emails with clear expectations and instructions for each team

  • A social media library for folks to pull from and post on their personal channels

  • Online groups to coordinate and support each group

  • Followed up with tips on how they might best engage with folks in social media and church group posts

  • Suggestions on how to pray for the event and ongoing conversations

  • Surveys to create feedback loops for support and future insights

  • ‘Share Your Story’ capture points to hear how God is at work within your community

  • Personalized event follow-up emails and reminders for future ministry offerings

 

These ongoing conversations will help new folks feel more connected to your church and your current congregants with each other.

 

As the old African proverb goes:

 

            “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

 

Every interaction with your church community is a potential discipleship opportunity.

 

Discipleship isn’t a destination. It’s a process. One doesn’t just become a disciple. Helping people discover Christ and the Christian community is a part of discipling them.

 

And part of the discipleship process is to then disciple others. It’s what Jesus commanded of us in Matthew 28:19-20. By inviting everybody into the effort, you’re laying the foundation for longer-lasting relationships and connections.

 

So as you begin to build out this new engagement campaign around your event, remember that we all now live in two worlds: the physical and the digital. Where does your community engage most often? Meet them in that space. Be the bridge that connects these two worlds.

 

And don’t forget about the folks who might be joining you for the first time online, those who are gathering in person, as well as those who aren’t quite ready to come back full time.

 

Here’s a framework you can use to build strategic alignment around engagement campaigns that extend into both the physical and digital worlds.

 

12 Steps to Extend an Event and Foster Real Engagement and Relationships

 

  1. What are the main objectives of your organization?

  2. What is the definition of success for this effort?

  3. How will we measure success?

  4. For whom is this campaign being built?

  5. Who else should you include in the plan for success?

  6. What does everybody need to succeed?

  7. How will we equip them with these resources?

  8. What positions are your teammates playing?

  9. Where will engagement happen?

  10. Who’s directing traffic?

  11. When and how should folks check in with your team?

  12. Finish strong & Review what you learned

 

I encourage you to remember that church communications teams are ministry teams, too! Embrace your unique positioning and heart for ministry.

 

“The Church Communicator life is the discipleship enabling and the discipleship equipping life. Go therefore and build campaigns that engage people deeper in their faith and deeper into relationships with God and each other. ”― Chris Davidson

 

The Church of the Future is going to be content and engagement-driven. You and your team will play a large part in that effort.

 

I can’t wait to read your success stories on the Church Communications blog and in the Facebook Group!

 

Is your church looking for a future-thinking church software solution to help you build the Church of the Future?

 

Ministry happens where people live, and today people live in two worlds: one physical, the other digital. Churches wanting to embrace this opportunity but who are struggling to find integrated tools to use should consider The Communitas Platform – the first church software solution architected for this new combined world.

 

Like you, we believe it’s about the congregant, relationships, and the community – local, global, digital, and in-person. Let’s build the Church of the Future – together!

 

Learn more at CommunitasTech.com.

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