OK…what is a Chris-ter? Well, it is those folks who attend our worship on Christmas and Easter only, hence Christmas and Easter equals…Chris-ters.
When I pastored we always had an increase in worship on those two Sundays because the Chris-ters really came out and boosted our attendance.
So what should our attitude be toward Chris-ters? Should we be stern and fuss at them for being so sporadic about their attendance? Should we raise our eyebrows and be judgmental and critical?
What if they sit in the same seat that Bertha Better Than You sits?
A better question is, “what does Jesus think about them?” After all, Christmas is a celebration of His birthday. Does Jesus love people who do not attend our churches on a regular basis, or maybe only twice a year? YES HE DOES.
I think Jesus would have us roll out the red carpet for these folks and welcome them with open arms. The next few weeks we have the opportunity to love on folks who have yet to discover the real meaning of Christmas and the blessings of attending on a regular basis. It is a chance to share Christ’s love thru our worship and to let them know we are really glad they are in church even if it is the first time since Easter.
Here are a few ideas. First make sure your greeters are ready to welcome everyone who walks through the doors; members, non-members, Christians, non-Christians, old, young, searching, and yes even the Chris-ters.
After they attend how do we follow up? Be sure to do it quickly and with intentionality. With all the special preparation for sermons, music presentations, decorations, extra greeters, and parking issues; don’t slide on the follow up process! We must have a thought out follow up process after a guest attends.
(Sunday) Make sure that worship is a good experience for them. Be prepared to welcome and love on people. Provide refreshments and give guests a gift. Some churches have folks turn in their guest card at a welcome center where they receive a gift from the church.
First step… (Monday or Tuesday) Mail guests a follow up card or letter immediately. Quick follow up is really important for all guests and a handwritten card speaks volumes. Pastors can write a brief note and send it early in the week. A personal hand written note that has also been hand addressed takes a little more time but pays great dividends. People love to receive personal mail not something that they know has been massed produced. They will often throw away what they perceive as junk mail. Knowing the pastor or other church leaders took the time to do this says much about the heart of the pastor and church.
Recently my wife and I visited a church and not only received a hand written note from the pastor but a $5 gift card to Dairy Queen. (I’ve already had my blizzard!)
Second Step…(@Thursday) If they gave you an e-mail address or a cell phone number on the guest card, then follow up with a quick note or a text message. You might include again how glad you were they attended and ask if they have any questions about the church or how you can serve them.
If you did not personally meet these guests last Sunday, invite them to meet you in a central area of the church before or after the service so you can personally greet them.
Third Step…(Saturday) As a pastor I found I could catch people at home on Saturday afternoons with a telephone call. If you miss them and get the answering machine leave a brief message sharing that you really hope they can be in worship the next day. You could also mention about Sunday School or small group Bible study.
Fourth Step… Have the appropriate age group leaders (Sunday School, children’s and youth pastor, or other ministry leaders, etc.) follow up and connect to all family members: preschool, children and teenagers. If parents know you are genuinely interested in ministering to their children you will open the door wide to reach them.
What will you do to get ready for the invasion of the Chris-ters?
Keep the Son in Your Eyes,