Ever been invited to someone's house that you don't know well, but you're happy to be invited?
You figure they must be reaching out for friendship.
This happened to me. I went to the house, was warmly greeted, had a wonderful meal, and met some nice people. After the meal, the inviting couple set up a tripod with paper on it. Everyone around the table realized we'd been duped. We were there for a "multilevel marketing" pitch. Ugh.
People invite neighbors they may not know that well to a church service (we're told that Easter is the most effective time to invite an unchurched person to visit). Armed with an Easter flyer, we start to invite. People are polite and they think "isn't that nice" and inside they're expecting friendship. But the bait and switch happens and moments into the service, they realize they've been duped.
How can we stop this? It's all in effective Church Communication.
Here's 3 failures that happen at Easter:
The Invitation assumes people know about Easter (and church).
More and more, people are not connected to any church. So people mainly know the secular version of Easter.
SOLUTION: Figure out the objective of bringing the unchurched in (be sure it's what they're looking for). It's probably not what you'd think.
People aren't coming for just a story of Jesus; or to join the church; instead they want something to help them. Figure that out and deliver it
.It points to a website that doesn't talk to the unchurched.
Your communications has your URL on it, I hope!
SOLUTION: Spend some time on the landing page that you want them to go to. Let them know expectations, what to wear, why a bunch of people meet weekly in this thing called "church".
Explain why it will benefit them to attend regularly. You know the benefit, no?
The actual service is a dead end.
Like your web pages, your service needs to end with answering "now what?".
SOLUTION: Think about all the ways someone might feel at the end of a service. Many times, there's an altar call, then it ends. A first-time visitor will rarely walk the aisle. What are they to do then? A gift is nice, but then what?
Let's stop burning bridges by having people feel duped when they come to our services. They'll be more apt to say "yes" for another service.