Outreach Efforts in the week before Holy Week

Lent and Easter is such a busy time in the worship life of the Church! But it’s also a fantastic time for outreach. Easter is a holiday when unchurched people are likely to come to worship for the first time. Don’t forget to make use of all your resources to invite your prospects to worship with you on Easter.

Here are a few outreach items we’re working on during this week before Holy Week. Can you try any of these in your congregation? Can you expand any current efforts? These examples are offered for your consideration:

  1. Preschool. All the families were given printed invitations to Easter Sunday on the Tuesday before Holy Week. Tomorrow and Thursday we scheduled parties for the preschool during the school day. These parties give us a chance to eat lunch and spend some time with all the preschool parents. The goal of these parties is to invite the parents to join us at Easter services. It’s great opportunity for outreach.
  2. Prospect List. The mailer inviting our prospect list hit mailboxes today. All 639 of our active prospects get a postcard.
  3. Community Mailing. At last week’s Lenten Dinner and Devotion, we had the whole group count and sort postcards for us. We were able to get a mailing for our whole target area prepared in just about 15 minutes. Many hands make light work, and everyone got to be part of the outreach effort. That whole-target-area mailing will be delivered on Monday of Holy Week. I have found that most prospects don’t plan ahead for worship. Every home in our zipcode will be invited to Easter.
  4. Congregational Canvass. After church this past Sunday, we invited the whole congregation to stuff invitations into door hangers to be used in our congregational canvass. We stuffed 1300 doorhangers in less than ten minutes. We will be doing a “no talking necessary, no training necessary” canvass this week. It’s just hanging up doorhangers. But we have 70 people signed up to come. It’s a great way to invite the community and it’s a great way to have people involved in outreach who might not think they have the gifts for it. Even better, it makes a large group of people very interested in the work the Holy Spirit might do in bringing people to church on Easter Sunday.
  5. Personal invitations. Finally, Vicar Reichert and I are also attempting to make personal invitations to our group of “most interested” prospects. This is our shortlist of about forty families that we are trying to move toward enrollment in our next BIC. We simply stop by their house with a printed invitation. If they answer, we invite them to Easter services; if they don’t, we just leave the invitation with a personal note.
  6. Don’t forget to enlist your congregational network of friends and neighbors. We will be sending an email to the congregation talking about the privilege of witnessing and encouraging them to invite their friends and neighbors to Easter services.

Such a busy time for worship and outreach. May God bless your efforts at both!

Rev. Jonathan E. Schroeder

Jonathan Schroeder is the pastor of Faith Lutheran in Sharpsburg, GA. He serves as the Moderator of the Institute of Worship and Outreach, pastor-at-large on the Synodical Council, and is actively involved in WELS School of Outreach and WELS School of Worship.

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