The FREE, Must-Have Training You Need in 2020 to Skyrocket Your Church Growth

This is a crazy time of year. For you as a church leader, the holiday frenzy is dialed up a notch. Not only are you preparing for Christmas events and services – the decorations, the rehearsals, the extra activities, the outreach events – but you are also looking ahead to the new year.

How can your church continue to support your mission and point to the vision you have for your community? What things will stay the same? What can you change to reach more people, grow your community, and build better relationships?

As you put a bow on 2019, you are also unwrapping possibilities for 2020 and beyond.

The Christmas season is a time of much celebration, festivities, and even time with your family and friends. But, for church leaders, it can also feel, well, a bit overwhelming. Perhaps you are feeling overworked or your church is facing budget issues. Maybe there’s been a decline in attendance or you are just feeling disconnected from your community.

We get it.

We know the hurdles churches face throughout the year, which is why we created the ENGAGE Conference – a FREE tech conference to help your members and guests feel known, noticed and loved. Consider this our Christmas gift to you!

Here’s exactly what you’ll get when you sign up for ENGAGE Conference 2020 . First, and foremost, you’ll receive the latest insight from 35+ experts in leadership development, websites and branding, social media strategy, guest experience and follow-up, and big-picture ideas.

We are kicking off this FREE 8-day conference on February 4th, 2020 with some fun and laughs with comedian, actor, and author, Michael Jr. His television appearances include The Tonight ShowJimmy Kimmel Live, and Comedy Central, among others. He is hilarious and dedicated to creating comedy that inspires. What a great way to kick-off the conference!

Then, Days 2 through 8 will be jam-packed with practical and tactical tools from experts in their given fields. Although ENGAGE Conference 2020 doesn’t require you to choose a specific track for the content you watch, most of the presentations will fall into one of the categories listed below…

Prepare Your Church For Christmas Guests

When you are thinking of how to be prepared for your guests on Christmas Eve we want you to think of it on a very logistical level. How are you going to aim to connect with all of them? Who will they interact with? Where will they go when they first walk in the door? How will they know about your services ahead of time?

A lot of this preparation we cover in a recent post where we talk about obsessing over first-time guests. It’s this concept of guests feeling wanted and thought of before they even meet anyone. If there were to be a perfect day to be obsessed with your church’s first-time guests, Christmas is it. If you think about it, the message of Christmas is all about God’s heart for people and giving the greatest gift. What better way to share that message than to give the gift of embracing your guests?!

This starts long before the actual Christmas Eve service. Consider the messaging on your website, your Facebook page, your signs, etc. and what it communicates to the unchurched people in your community. In addition to all of this prep ahead of time, we want to focus primarily on what to do with all of these people after they attend your Christmas Eve service.

Let’s consider the three individuals we discussed at the beginning of the article…

The one who’s here for their family.

The one who’s here because they love God and have rejected the church (who knows for how long).

The one who’s looking for a fresh start.

I know there are more. But, for the sake of strategy, let’s focus on these three. Do you think friendly faces and fancy decorations will be enough? Will their lifestyle of not being in church be broken by one positive hour? They may have a spiritual impact and a change of heart, I’m not minimizing that at all. But we are still talking about people with habits, jobs, hobbies, relationships, and the list goes on.

Now, let’s get practical about what your preparations should be. I’ve got a simple 5-step plan to help you prepare and follow-up with all your church’s Christmas guests. Keep in mind that preparing for and making your guests feel welcomed starts way before they come to your church. The “front door” of your church is no longer the physical front door, it is now your website and your social media presence. In addition, preparing means thinking about how you will connect with your guests during and after their visit in order to build a relationship with them.

1. Social Media & Website

Get your service information out there via social media and your website. Set up a special page on your website that gives details about your Christmas services and what people can expect when they visit. You can also invite your guests to “Plan A Visit ” with a form on your website. Be sure to create a Facebook event for your services and encourage your members to share it and invite their friends to join you. (Bonus tip: Make sure the Facebook event links to your website!)

2. Guest Follow-up Messaging

Have your follow-up messages ready to go in advance. Don’t wait until after Christmas to decide how you are going to follow-up with your guests. Craft your emails, texts, and other follow-up messages so that they are ready for you to use when the time comes.

3. Connection Cards

Be sure to have connection cards available. Whether that be paper connection cards or digital ones , there will be A LOT of visitors so distribute and display connection cards for your guests. Make it easy for them to find and fill out. Avoid asking too many questions, just get enough information so you can follow-up with them like their name, phone number, and email address.

4. Direction & Guest Connection

Set up check-in points to catch as many guests as you can. As you are setting up your website landing page, be sure to tell your guests where to park and where to go when they get inside the building. In addition to having clearly marked signs to your worship center or sanctuary, you can also have multiple guest services kiosks or desks as well as guest services team members where guests can go to ask questions, fill out or turn in their connection cards, or just see a friendly face!

5. Create A System

Because Christmas services are so busy, sometimes guests can be forgotten or it takes a lot of work to properly follow-up. Make sure this doesn’t happen by creating a system so no one falls through the cracks . Decide ahead of time who will be greeting guests. Give your guest services team-specific prompts or things that you want them to share with your guests. Also, determine who will gather the connection cards after the services. In addition to these preparations ahead of time, set up a system that includes assigning follow-up messaging tasks to staff members or volunteers.

Make A Lasting Impact

How can we make a lasting impact on these people?

One that says…

You belong here. You’re welcome here. You’re wanted here.

They are going to feel that over time, as they build genuine relationships with people. And how do we do that in a day and age that is pulling at people’s attention from every angle? By building a follow-up system that engages people for an extended amount of time and creating opportunities to connect with them.

We can’t expect new people to come to church and do all the work. They showed up! They took that vulnerable, awkward, first step and now the ball is in our court!

So make sure your greeters are ready to go and that you have members hanging out before and after service to meet new faces. But then you, as a church leader, also need to have a system in place to follow-up with all of those people in the days and weeks following your Christmas Eve service.

You know they will be impacted. The message of Christmas leaves an impression. It invites them to follow the journey of Christ from the manger, to ministry, to the mystery of Easter. So how will you nurture that? How will you continue to shepherd those new people once they leave the walls of your church?

Reach out to them. Text them. Email them. Send them a letter. Send them a gift. And then text them again. And email them again. Send them another note saying you hope they will come back to church. Then maybe text them again and email them again… I think you get my point.

Here are a couple of scripts for text and email follow up…

Text message sent on Christmas…

Merry Christmas {FIRST_NAME}! Thanks again for joining us for our Christmas service. We hope you have a blessed holiday! ~ [INSERT PASTOR NAME]

Email sent after service…

Subject Line: Thanks for celebrating with us @ [Insert Church Name]


Thanks so much for joining us for our Christmas Eve service. We hope to be a place where folks can root their lives in Grace, grow in faith, and reach in love. We long to be a hospitable church.

We’d love for you to learn more about us at our website. [INSERT WEBSITE HERE] From our website you can connect with us on Facebook or listen to our podcast.

If you have any questions or would like to talk more, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.


People are worth it, and they need to be reminded that they are wanted. The church doesn’t always feel as open and welcoming as we hope it does to the outside world, so let’s change that one epic follow-up system at a time, starting with this Christmas.

Church Leadership

• Discover how to develop an experimental mindset in your church (Michael Hyatt)
• Get insights about key trends on how to understand and engage with the culture (Ed Stetzer)
• Learn 3 practices that can help you stay rooted and grounded in Christ (Danielle Strickland)
• Gain direction for leading congregations in weaving the Gospel-focused passion and practice into the very DNA of church life. (Kevin Harney)
• Improve the mental and emotional health of you and your staff as well as your congregation(Henry Cloud)
• Be inspired to lead courageously and influence those around you as you build the Kingdom of God in new and innovative ways. (Jenny Randle)

Social Media

Learn how to create an effective social media strategy to reach more people.
• Understand the ministry of social media and its impact on society (Nona Jones)
• Discover how social media tools can help you grow your community online (Darcy Peters)
• Learn how to create and maintain a social media team (Brianna Walters)
• Review a simple and effective 8-step social media audit framework for churches and ministries (Natchi Lazarus)


Review, evaluate, and improve your website.
• Know why your website is one of the top 5 communications priorities for pastors (Phil Cooke)
• Discover the 4 pillars of a healthy brand (Stephen Brewster)
• Create a guest-friendly homepage (Katie Allred)
• Get a step-by-step guide on SEO (Tyler Rominger)

Church Online

Thinking about utilizing more video strategy in 2020?
• Learn how to increase your impact in ministry using church online (Ben Stapely)
• Find out how to use video to vlog your ministry journey in order to communicate truth and be an influencer in the lives of others (Trey VanCamp).

Guest Experience & Follow-up

Make 2020 the year you spend less time managing tools and more time building relationships with guest experience and follow up strategies.
• Equip your members to create a welcoming environment for your guests. (Michael Lukaszewski)
• Learn the steps to creating an effective and efficient guest follow-up strategy. (Yvonne Gentile)
• Rethink your follow-up processes for high-attendance Sundays like Christmas and Easter. (Ryan Wakefield)
• Increase your responses to connection cards. (Ryan Keller)
• Engage people with print media in the digital world (Paul Fleming)

Whether you are a small church, a multi-site church, a church plant, or somewhere in between, Engage Conference 2020 will equip you with practical tips and tools to make sure your members and guests feel known, noticed, and loved. This conference is FREE and ONLINE , February 4-12, 2020.

There is no travel required so you can learn directly from top experts in the church communications and leadership space in a way that is convenient for you. Registration is simple. You can get your free ticket HERE , and read more about our excellent lineup of speakers.

Give you and your team the gift of high-quality, practical, and effective training this Christmas. If you’re ready to reach more people using the right technology, then grab your FREE ticket to ENGAGE 2020 today !

Posted on: December 10, 2019


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