I'm writing because it's already January 12th and I don't want you and your church to miss out on any of the opportunities that God is providing in 2018. So here are four quick reminders before this "first of the year" mindset slips away:
* Firm up the important dates on your church's calendar.
Be sure you have all official and unofficial holidays listed (Super Bowl Sunday, Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Christmas & Christmas Eve) to make the most of them.
Include any local holidays, when your schools are in/out, church office closings, when pastoral staff are on vacation, and anything else that will affect your activities.
* Devise or revise your 2018 Big Day plan.
Remember, Big Days are used periodically throughout the year to engage and excite your people to intentionally invite others to a specific Sunday: an all out push 4-5 times a year.
Prayerfully try to align these Big Days with natural high attendance and the times you've seen God working previously. And don't forget to launch a new sermon series on these Big Day Sundays.
* Maximize your year-end giving statements.
It's time to send out those annual giving statements, right? Don't send them alone!
Since you know people will be opening them, be sure to include: a "vision connection" letter (thank your givers, celebrate what God did last year, and share what's planned for this year), a giving envelope, and a card or flyer for an upcoming sermon series or event. * Give your location a 2018 look with "fresh eyes."
First time guests decide whether they're going to return within the first 7 minutes of their first visit. That means the appearance of your location, cleanliness, paint, signage, greeters, and so many more elements are vital.
Take a moment this Sunday to step out a few minutes before the service to experience what your guests are experiencing. Take notes, then take action!
* How can you and I partner together this year? I have recently made some changes to be able to give more time and attention in 2018 to this honored part of my calling: investing in other pastors, church leaders and churches.
In fact, you've likely already seen a new name and logo on some of my information - Advance, as in "we partner together to 'advance God's kingdom'."
I'm continuing to provide new options for coaching, consulting and training services to be available when you need me - including 1-on-1 Pastor Coaching via video chat (contact me for details or to schedule your first session).