DULUTH — Pastor, Easter Sunday will be here in 11 weeks.
That may seem like a long time, but consider this. Eleven weeks ago, America went to the polls to participate in what many considered an easily-predictable election. As such, it became the election with the lowest voter turnout in two decades. It’s not difficult to ascertain why. One side went through the motions. The other was motivated to participate.
The motivated side won.
Evangelism leaders say churches can’t simply expect Easter visitors. There must be a motivation to reach as many as possible. Tools available through outreach.com for the Big Invite can help pastors and churches connect with their community can do just that.
The Big Invite is a push for Georgia Baptist churches to experience the largest amount of visitors on a single Easter Sunday. The by-product of an overflow of visitors leads to greater ownership of the church’s outreach by the laity, insists Georgia Baptist Convention President and Alpharetta First Baptist Pastor Thomas Hammond.
“It can happen in your church and churches all over Georgia,” Hammond says in a video at the Big Invite website.
Citing research through LifeWay Christian Resources President Thom Rainer, Hammond pointed to 83 percent of the public admitting they would be open to an invitation to church. Furthermore, people are more willing to attend on Easter, he added.
A blueprint to leave a footprint
The resources for the Big Invite make it easier than ever to reach those goals, agrees Scott Smith. Once going to BigInvite.org, guests are asked to fill out some basic information. At that time, they will be transported to the resources page outfitted with drop-down tabs that walk them through the planning process.
“Pastors can sign up now to receive a week-by-week, step-by-step blueprint to magnify their chances of having more guests on Easter Sunday than ever before,” Scott Smith recently told The Index. Smith serves as a state missionary with Church Revitalization and Evangelism of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.
Promotional pieces through outreach.com give churches a turn-key advantage for inviting Easter guests. In addition, those tools address the various platforms for outreach and connecting with the community. Churches can go with traditional methods such as door hangers as well as professionally-produced video clips and graphics for social media. Big Invite resources also include helpful hints for volunteers working the church parking lot, information table, and nursery area.
Addressing a deeper need
The Big Invite’s theme – Start your New Beginning – looks to spark a connection with guests, Smith points out in a video under the “Quick Start Guide” drop tab. The practical tools therein go to address a deeper need.
“There are so many people who are not satisfied with where they are in life. There are so many people living around your church that have a sense that there’s something more to life that they’re missing out on,” he says.
What’s missing, he adds, is that relationship with Jesus Christ. On April 16, more guests who normally have very little to do with church will walk through those doors. Many will have questions. Many will be looking for a way to begin a change in their lives.
Churches must be ready, Smith repeats. Don’t underestimate a guest’s desire to know more about the Gospel. The Big Invite provides churches the tools. All that’s missing is the motivation to use them.
“We want to quicken [guests] hearts to think about Easter as a new beginning,” he says.