We had a great service this morning. It was our second monthly service and here is a brief rundown of how it all went:
We really ramped up our marketing efforts this time. Here’s what we did:
- We sent out our “New Movers” letters this week. (We send a letter welcoming them to their new home and giving them a coupon to a local bookstore and one for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich.)
- We sent out a postcard to everyone on our mailing list inviting them to come to our service.
- We put an ad in the newspaper.
- I sent out an email to everyone on our email list.
- I made a bunch of phone calls.
Despite all these things, it seemed that we were fighting an uphill battle because this week saw the worst snowstorm Indiana has had in years. In addition to a storm that closed schools for the whole week and cold weather that caused school delays the whole previous week, we had an extra 5 inches of snow fall Friday night and all day Saturday.
Jen and I put in a lot of work last night and this morning before anyone came over to load up vehicles, but I won’t report on all that. People arrived at our house at about 8:50 this morning. As a result, we didn’t get everything loaded up until about 9:15. I didn’t think that would be a very big problem, though because we weren’t planning to start our service until 10:30. As it turned out, though, it put us way behind.
A few things happened this morning that increased our time by a lot.
- Our directional signs had to be put together at the school. Last month, we put our signs together at our house at 8:15am. This month, we didn’t have the super early gathering at our house, so the signs were put together at the school.
- The banner outside fell down last night, so I had to repair it.
- We were couldn’t find one extension cord and a couple mic cables.
As a result, we never actually got to have a full sound check, and the service started 5 minutes late.
Our attendance reflected the difficult circumstances of snow and cold. We had a number of new individuals make it, though, so that was encouraging, and every one of them told me how much they liked the service.
- Kids – 12
- Kids Helpers – 3
- Congregation – 15
- Total Attendance – 30
Here are a couple comments people put on the comment cards:
I know God is working in my life right now. But sometimes it’s hard! Coming here today made me feel good today! Thank you.
The service is awesome! I will bring more people next month! … The message was GREAT! I really like the way you put things so simply.
Message / Sermon
<img src=’http://jeff.mikels.cc/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/title_slide-1.thumbnail.jpg’ alt=’WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT GOD title slide’ />
My message todaywas entitled “God Always Does What’s Right” and it was actually a rehash of a message I’ve preached before. You can hear the original one at this link: God Always Does What’s Right
In fact, I think I did a better job with that one than I did today, and that disappointed me a little. Last week, I was so concerned with the logistics of the church service that I hadn’t been able to put the time into my message that I would have wanted, and thinking that I was doing one I had already done gave me a false sense of security. Nonetheless, the comments from people after the service really told me that they were listening more to God than to me, and that was quite encouraging.
Here is today’s version:
030-02 — God Always Does What’s Right
For Next Time
As I think about our next scheduled service (March 18), I’m thinking honestly that a few things will need to come together in order for us to go ahead with the launch on March 25.
- We need more strongly committed team players. While we already have an excellent group of people that have come together to make all this happen, we also have some odd inconsistencies. For example, a week and a half ago, we got in touch with a Purdue student who was really interested in joining us. He was fired up and excited and made a commitment to run our children’s ministry on a volunteer basis for a while, but after he left our house after our last planning meeting, Jen sent him an email asking for his references, and he hasn’t answered his phone, or returned any messages since then.
- We need a solid system of pre-service set-up. Our haphazardness today resulted in a lot of unnecessary stress before the service started and it caused us to start late.
- We need to reach a “critical mass” of at least 60 on the 18th. The first major attendance barrier is 50 and I don’t want to waste time trying to beat that one. We need our Grand Opening Sunday to surpass 100 (I want it to surpass 200), but I really doubt our ability to do that if we can’t reach 60 at our next monthly (preview) service. Don’t get me wrong, 30 is a good number for today, but we need many more than that to really launch a church that will be able to impact our community.
All these things are quite doable, and this is what I plan to do about them:
- Talk to my coach and get his feedback.
- Make phone calls to all the people on our local contact list to see where they are in their interest level.
- Spend more money on some direct marketing.
- Host an info dinner in early March at a local restaurant / banquet hall to raise funds and commitments.
After talking to my coach, I decided against the info dinner. He thought it was a good idea, but that doing it would take too much attention away from the other plans we needed to make. Our third monthly service didn’t reach the 50-60 that I said I wanted, but our plans to do two Big Sundays might allow us to launch without that number.