New Years is a strategic time for outreach. One pastor commented “The people that come to church after New Year’s are different than the Easter or Christmas crowd. New Year’s visitors are usually more serious about making life changes, and they are likely to come back in the following weeks.”
Some of the reasons that New Years is a great outreach time is due to the mind set that many people have at this time of year. At New Year’s, many people take stock of their lives and resolve to do things like lose weight, read more, quit smoking or spend more time with their kids — essentially improve their lives.
Churches can apply this “outreach thinking” and see the unique cultural event of New Year’s as an opportunity to meet people at their point of need. More than improving a lifestyle, the church can help someone really change their life through a relationship with Christ and everything that goes along with it.
Does New Years outreach make sense for your church? Here are some factors to consider:
THE RIGHT AUDIENCE – At Christmas and Easter a church can tend to get “seasonal” visitors. At New Year’s, visitors may be more likely to be spiritual seekers or those looking for a church home.
THE RIGHT RESOLUTION - “Get back to church” is a resolution that connects with many, especially those with “religious” roots. It also supports other resolutions like “quit my bad habits,” “be more balanced,” “make time for my family,” and even “work on my marriage.” A sermon series and outreach campaign designed on this theme will hit home with many in your community.
THE RIGHT TIME - If your church doesn’t have the resources for large-scale holiday events at Christmas and Easter, it can be smart to save your outreach dollars for a less “cluttered” time of year, like New Year’s. Creating an exciting or interesting event during January, can also help people in your community with post-holiday let down.
THE RIGHT BRIDGE- A strong, outreach-oriented New Year’s message series and special event can give your church a great chance to re-invite your Christmas guests and bridge the time between Christmas and Easter.
One type of message series that works well at New Years is a series based on a recent cultural trend. Often the holiday season brings blockbuster movies and books that can be great launching platforms for a sermon series. Whether it’s a TV show, movie, book or other cultural event, nothing catches the attention of your community quicker than popular culture. So why not leverage this powerful tool as a springboard for the Gospel? By using cultural trends as a platform for the love of Christ, your church can grow in a dramatic new way this Spring!
Start your new year off on the right track and make a big impression on the people in your community with a special New Years outreach!