Maximizing Mom's Day

4/25/2013

 

Mother’s Day is typically the third highest attendance Sunday of the year. Do you have anything special planned? Read ways your church can make the most of seasonal opportunities to grow your church.

 

On a certain Sunday each May, churches often experience the high energy, high attendance day when family members (many of whom rarely attend) often come to church to honor their mothers. Is your church planning special activities and tributes to moms? How can your church best prepare for guests that attend on this special day?

 

Recognizing Moms

There's still time to prepare, so perhaps your church can produce a special invitation that children can give their moms and grandmothers to come to church. The church can even send out a special email invitation to encourage entire families to attend together. Here are some creative options to make this Sunday extra special for the entire congregation.

 

·         Have children give a flower to each female in attendance (past, present or future mom figure) or make Moms Day cards in Sunday school.

 

·         Host a “Muffins n Mom” area in the foyer before the service for families to snack and share together.

 

·         Prepare a picturesque area and take digital family pictures that you can email the family later in the week as a follow up-touch point. Be sure to have them hold up their family name in the “practice shot” or take note of what they are wearing to keep track.

 

·         Show a video tribute (stock videos available from organizations such as Worship House Media – or make your own.) Videos could feature kids telling why their mom is the best, or what their mom does every day, or kids could read a verse or poem to moms.

 

·         Recognize the mom in the congregation with the most children, newest additions, most grandkids or most family members in attendance.

 

·         Have the menfolk serve breakfast or brunch to all the ladies before church.

 

·         At the beginning or conclusion of the service, have a Mother’s Day contest. Perhaps offer a “purse scavenger hunt” – and the first mom to find a grocery store receipt, for instance, wins a gift card, lotion, or devotional for moms.

 

          How UMCs in TAC are making Mom’s Day special

·         The Men’s Chorus at Sunset UMC and male volunteers are rehearsing and singing the anthem on Mother’s Day in honor of the women.

 

·         League City UMC Pastor Chris Harrison is excited about a special performance the youth will give on Mother’s Day. The children’s musical entitled “Life is Good,” is a gift to all of the women and families in attendance at the 11:00 am service on Mother’s day. Children from ages 3-12 will be singing, acting and dancing in this fun musical based upon John 16:33b featuring stories about the Garden of Eden, Jonah, Noah, Job, David and many others brought to life in fun songs and dramatic sketches. The message: trust in God’s goodness in good times and bad, and discover the real joy of the Lord. Along with the children’s performance, the youth are helping with sound and costuming, along with being extra sets of hands the morning of the musical.

 

·         The Worship Ministry Team at Cornerstone UMC in Houston will distribute carnations to every woman in attendance.  They will also recognize all moms in attendance and give an additional gift to 1) the oldest mom, 2) the mother with the youngest child in nursery/worship, and 3) the mother with the most children present. The theme of the service will be centered around Dr. Dave Meadows’ Mother’s Day message entitled, “A Mother’s Love” based on Mark 7:24-30 as the church honors moms and other women who have touched lives with their guidance and love.

 

·         Angleton UMC will honor moms with a colorful zipper pouch with scripture card.

 

·         Reverend Kelly McIntosh says that moms attending church at Waller UMC on May 12 will receive 2-inch wooden prayer cubes engraved with six special prayers.

 

Recognizing Guests

While it is important to make moms feel special, it is also important for churches to make their guests feel special -- on this and every Sunday that visitors drop by. The number one reason people visit a church – consistently – is because they were asked.

 

Therefore, the first step involves motivating the congregation to be inviters. “Seasonal Sunday is a great opportunity to give guests a connection point to the Christian faith and to your church,” advises Communication Consultant Yvon Prehn in a recent webinar for National Association of Church Business Administrators. “Intentionally communicate to members and prospects before, during and after a special event so that outreach is part of your church culture,” she adds. Yvon has seen churches grow when members share in ‘natural evangelism’ by inviting people to church on a regular basis.

 

In preparation for a high attendance Sunday such as Mother’s Day, pastors can preach about the importance of family faith, the church can develop a digital or printed invitation for members to pass along, and social media can be leveraged to build momentum. “Leadership can remind the congregation of the importance of bringing people to church, create some shareable resources whether that be postcards or Facebook events, and encourage the church to be the distribution system,” she adds.

 

Step two involves getting ready for visitors. Research shows that potential visitors check out churches on the web just as they would preview a potential business, so make sure web content is current. Yvon suggests making the church website and Facebook interchange a resource for the special occasion by adding some Mother’s Day memory making ideas, recipes and photos that will engage newcomers even before they step foot on the church campus. Make sure church signage is guest-friendly and that the church has special activities for the children, so they will want their parents to bring them back. Have staff members on alert to answer visitor emails and phone calls promptly and warmly and rally a “welcoming committee” to serve on high attendance day to greet and escort people to where they need to go.

During the service, explain everything in more detail than usual for those who do not regularly attend church to know what is going on and why.

 

Explain all of the programs available for children, youth and adults between Sundays and give them information on something great coming up so they will be more likely to return. Explains Yvon, “Giving visitors a clear overview of your ministries and some next steps, and putting details and contact information in their souvenir bulletin will equip guests to be more comfortable fitting into this new environment.”

 

Another effective way to engage visitors is to encourage the use of connection cards and prayer request cards inserted in bulletins or near seating areas. “Verbally encourage everyone in attendance to use the cards, and be ready to do immediate follow up with visitors who fill in the forms,” she adds. “And, what better time than to announce a relevant sermon series starting the next week!”

 

Give Guests a Reason to Come Back!

Churches grow when everyone pitches in. High attendance Sundays give churches a unique opportunity to connect newcomers to Jesus and the church.  Members and leaders can begin communicating and inviting before the event, provide many touch points on the actual day and be ready to follow up with a call, letter, or a face to face invitation to have coffee with the pastor. Encouraging questions or discussions over coffee with a church leader or in some other non-threatening atmosphere is a great way to help visitors take the next step. Putting a bulletin insert or making special announcements of upcoming activities will let the newcomers know where they might fit in to your church.

 

For additional resources, see: www.effectivechurchcom.com