Can you believe that Easter Sunday is this week?! If you’re a pastor or church leader, you’ve probably spent the last weeks or even months preparing your Easter services. And for good reason too...most churches see a huge spike in attendance on Easter Sunday, as many “Chreasters” don their Sunday best and make their annual appearance at church. This weekend presents us with a great opportunity to share the good news of Jesus’ salvation with millions of people. Unfortunately, many of these people probably won’t show up at church again until next year. Wouldn’t it be awesome if this wasn’t the case? Of course it would! We’ve outlined a few steps you can take to make it easy for folks to come back next week. To be sure, there are many ways that you can make your visitors feel welcome and help get them connected to your church, but today we’re going to take a look at how you can use your app for this purpose. Here are three simple things you can do to help connect your visitors to the life of your ministry:
Announce your app from the stage
Pew Research reports that 77% of American adults now have a smartphone and 51% own a tablet. If you want to have a higher probability of getting your gospel content in front of visitors after Sunday, tell them about your app! A quick 30 second plug from your pastor during announcements can do wonders for post-Sunday engagement. Tell your congregation that the app is free and is the best way to stay connected to your church 24/7. Additionally, you can create a new push notification group called “I’m New” (or whatever you would like to call it), and encourage new folks to opt into that group so they can receive more information about your church. We’ll touch on this again in a minute.
Go digital with your connect card
Going to church on Easter may be overwhelming for some who are first-time visitors. You probably have a strategy in place to connect with new folks, but let’s face it….your staff and greeting team can’t meet every new person who comes through your doors, especially if you have a larger ministry. The unfortunate reality is that even with a robust plan in place, some people who enjoyed your service or would like more information about your church may slip through the cracks. This is where your app can help fill that void. By adding your connect card, a welcome message, and any other relevant signup forms or information, you can make it easy for everyone to get connected, even after church is over. Your printed bulletin and connect card may end up in the trash, but your digital connect card will be in everyone’s pocket at all times. There will probably be people who forget to stop by your connect desk, throw your Sunday bulletin away, or feel compelled to get in touch after stewing on the message for a few days. Since you’ve announced the app from the stage, they now have it on their phone, and since you have your connect card and welcome materials in the app, they can easily get in touch with your church.
Send a targeted push notification
Remember how you announced your app from the stage and encouraged visitors to join the new push notification group during the service? Now it’s time to follow up! On Sunday evening or Monday morning, send out a push notification to the “I’m New” group thanking them for attending and offering any follow up information that you think would be helpful. This could include your connect card, a welcome video, information about how to get in touch with a pastor, or even just an encouraging passage of scripture. Unlike most emails, push notifications get extremely high open rates, and this will add a nice personal touch to your follow up process. On top of that, push notifications have a much lower barrier to entry when it comes to connecting with people. Not everyone is going to be immediately comfortable with providing their personal information (email, home address, phone, etc) to you - especially if they are a first-timer, and no personal information is required to receive a push notification. If you’d like some visuals that show users how to subscribe to push notification groups, we’ve got a video for you here.
And last but most definitely not least, pray! God can use anyone and anything to draw people to himself, whether that be a sermon, a song, an interaction with someone on your team, or a simple piece of technology. Ask him to use every element of your service to reach people where they are at and bring them into a relationship with him. He is faithful, and he will surely do it! We hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating Jesus’ resurrection, and we can’t wait to hear the amazing stories from your Sunday services. Happy Easter!