We always focus on the invite. The initial invite and meet and greet of a new person to come to church. We teach our students to invite their friends to come to service, especially when we are going a teaching series or event that is geared to allow students to invite their unchurched friends.
Right now, we are in the middle of our biggest outreach called You Own The Weekend. Where students from our school put on all of the services. They run everything. They make the graphics, they do the music, they teach, they tell their testimonies. They invite their entire school. It’s amazing. This last weekend we had one of the school’s principal come and see the students teach.
But what is the purpose of doing this, as awesome as it is, if we train our students to only invite students to come to certain events if there is no follow-up or secondary invite? You invited them that one time, awesome. So what about next week?
If we are not teaching our students the power of the follow-up, we missing something huge. I tell my students during these times, that the outreach series needs to be the training ground of inviting their friends because it is easier and geared for it, but it needs to be a constant thing. I let them know that they would be surprised how many of their friends are actually waiting to be invited back again. A second ask, not only to church again, to lunch or coffee. A follow-up.
I want our students to know why follow ups are important:
- It starts conversation. You can ask them what they thought.
- Can start-up a spiritual conversation. They know they are going in to hear about God. It’s not a surprise. So ask them.
- A follow-up invite shows them they are cared about. An invite is personal. It shows value.
- Social involvement outside of home church often provides an opportunity to discuss spiritual things in a comfortable and natural setting. In addition, it shows the person that we Christians know how to have a good time and are “real” people.
A follow-up is huge. Ask once. Ask again. Show them they are of value, not just an ask.