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Creating an Invite Culture - Highrock Quincy Retreat 2016-01-30


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Workshop Handout from the Highrock Quincy Retreat 2016-01-30 at Pilgrim Pines Campground on the East Coast Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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Creating an Invite Culture - Highrock Quincy Retreat 2016-01-30

  1. 1. Highrock Quincy Retreat Creating an 
 Invite Culture Highrock Quincy Covenant Church
 Sat Jan 30 2016 Pilgrim Pines, NH
  2. 2. Notes:
 Highrock Quincy Retreat • Creating an Invite Culture • 02-28-2015 page of2 10
  3. 3. Additional Outreach Resources: Refresher: Highrock Quincy Launch Team Training Day Materials (03-11-2012) • Post: • A refresher for those who were part of the original Multi-Church Launch Team Training Day, and a great “catch up”for those who’ve since then committed to be part of God’s calling with Highrock Quincy! Original Blog Post:“Open Source Outreach: Enlisting Your People for Fresh Outreach Ideas” • • Despite the relative success of many of our outreach marketing pieces at Artisan Church, it sometimes felt a bit stale. At one point we also worried our people might be losing their edge, relying too heavily on external efforts, clever tools, and letting the "professionals" do the heavy lifting. So being a creative community, we decided to unleash the wisdom of the crowd (with some simple guidance to keep it from mob rule and complete mayhem :) Bonus Materials: “Outreach Print Materials: Tips & Tricks, Files & Resources” • • When it comes to inviting friends, family, and neighbors, nothing beats personal invitation and word-of- mouth. Yet you can significantly turbo-charge those efforts with supporting marketing pieces. Done well, they can inspire your people to invite more, and can effectively intrigue those being invited. Using multiple approaches that all reinforce the same event, theme, and look & feel adds even greater impact. Additional Notes: Highrock Quincy Retreat • Creating an Invite Culture • 02-28-2015 page of3 10
  4. 4. NOTES:Highrock Quincy Covenant Church Creating an Invite Culture for Successful Outreach Why Even Care? It's a Command: • Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." People are Seeking: • Acts 17:26b-34 (NIV) 26b [He] marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’As some of your own poets have said,‘We are his offspring.‘ 
 29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
 32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said,“We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others. Our Efforts Are“Required”… and God Promises Great Fruitfulness: • Luke 10:2 (NIV) He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. • we shouldn’t blame the "fields" and "fruit" Statistics that Challenge, Inspire, & Motivate: • 82% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited1 • Only 2% of church members invite an unchurched person to church, therefore 98% of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year1 • ~2/3rds of adults are willing to receive information about a local church from a family member and 56% are willing to receive info from a friend or neighbor 2 • 41% would respond to an invitation from a friend or acquaintance, 25% from their children or an adult family member 3 • 35% would be inspired to attend “if I knew there were people like me there.”3 • Younger adults (18–35) even more influenced by power of personal invitation. ~60% would consider returning to church if someone they knew invited them. 4 • Most people come to church because of a personal invitation.1 • 7/10 unchurched people have never been invited to church their whole lives.1 1. Dr. Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door; 2. Philip Nation, LifeWay Research; 
 3. Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research; 4. LifeWay Research
 Highrock Quincy Retreat • Creating an Invite Culture • 02-28-2015 page of4 10
  5. 5. NOTES: Practical Concerns & Missional Stewardship • Survive & Thrive: short-term and long-term survivability 
 and thrive-ability of a church and its God-given mission • VIM: Vision, Intentionality, and Means - 
 together these are helpful measures of a“Healthy Missional Church” • “Stable”churches most often slip on Vision and Intentionality • “Critical-Moment”and“At-Risk” churches often struggle with all three to varying degrees (but loss of“Means”it what usually creates urgency or crisis) • New Church Plants, almost by definition, are“Healthy Missional”, but if they struggle it’s usually with their Means - the necessary ministry muscle and resources to fulfill the mission God has called them to • “2.0”Church Plants often wrestle between“stable”and“healthy missional” • “Maturing”Church Plants are susceptible to mission drift and slipping on the very things they first did so enthusiastically and effectively • Creating a Movement: requires healthy, missional, church-planting churches "But it can’t be all about numbers!" • So true! ... and we should not ignore them either :) 
 (“numbers”aren’t sufficient, but they are essential) • Question: What do the "numbers" represent? • Illustration: "last 20/next 20 people" Questions, Comments, Discussion • • • • • Highrock Quincy Retreat • Creating an Invite Culture • 02-28-2015 page of5 10
  6. 6. NOTES: Creating Ministry Momentum Larger Context for Effective Invite & Outreach • Flow: Ministry efforts shouldn’t happen in isolation, 
 but build on previous work and anticipate future endeavors • Balance Strategy, Chemistry, & Spirituality: leaders with high Spirituality or Chemistry strengths often do less well in area of Strategy. 
 Need teams of leaders and workers that bring together all three. • Opportunity Cost:
 “opportunity cost”is often as important as people or financial costs Deconstruct a Working Example “Typical” Artisan Church Fall Outreach Season • Our Goal: to reach more people for Christ, especially with men 22-28, and students 17-21, with measurable results. In Fall of 2008 that meant breaking decisively through 125 in worship attendance (with other related metrics tied-in) • reverse engineered desired outcomes (ex: want people connected in small groups, therefore need to have small groups in place, therefore need to have small group leaders prepped, therefore…) • designed clean hand-offs for transitions from one event/series/movement to next • tether-ball metaphor: hit it "low & slow" • General Strategy and Support Pieces • Broke Outreach Season into three parts: Simple College Outreach and Huge Neighborhood Outreach, with short strategic breather in between
 • ”TXT Messages”: Sept 2008 College Outreach Series • During this series we did little more than create an engaging and provocative series, plus had good relationships with area college & university campus ministries. Strong word of mouth brought in dozens. [] • 9/7: “OMG” - Experience God (Brian Haak) • 9/14: “WTF” - Face the Pain (Jason Condon) • 9/21: “LOL” - Enjoy Life (Scott Austin) • 9/28: “IMHO” - Share Your Story (Jason Condon) - 
 emphasized personal invitation and evangelism • “Connect & Grow”: two-part mini-series to catch our breath, help first wave of people connect, and prep for the big Oct neighborhood outreach push (used Facebook theme) 
 Highrock Quincy Retreat • Creating an Invite Culture • 02-28-2015 page of6 10
  7. 7. NOTES: • “Scarecrow: What Are You Afraid Of?”: 
 Oct 2008 Neighborhood Outreach • We pulled out all the stops for this one. I was tired of being stuck under 125. We planned and executed very strategically so that everything tied-together and each piece reinforced the other for a multiplier effect. This series also built up to a strong evangelistic call to respond to Jesus
 [] • 10/19: “Scarecrow in the Mirror” (Jason Condon) • 10/26: “Scarecrow Superstitions” (Brian Haak) - 
 used the upcoming Halloween weekend • 11/2: “Scarecrow Politics” (Scott Austin) - 
 thematically connected to the Presidential Election • 11/9: “Scarecrow Messiahs” (Jason Condon) - 
 strong evangelistic call to respond to Jesus • Word of Mouth, Personal Invitation, & Marketing • Nothing Beats Personal Invitation, but… The battle is won“on the ground”through word of mouth and personal invitation, but good marketing materials provide“air support”that encourages & equips your people to invite, plus reaches those who can’t or don’t get personal invitations • Marketing Pieces: door-hangers (distributed roughly 8,000 in surrounding neighborhoods), promo video, evites, 4‘x12’long banner on front lawn, 2‘x6’tall hallway banner for both internal marketing and visibility for the many guests we planned and designed for throughout the week in our building • Social Networking: modest use of Facebook and Twitter. This was when these tools were just getting traction, but we were reaching very early adopters with technology and social media so it fit for us • Multiple Tie-Ins with Series: 
 Each Sunday message tied-in with the surrounding events • Pre-Series Outreach Event:“Cider Days”- apple picking, cider press, deep fried turkeys (Best. Event. Ever.) • Halloween:“Spooktacular”- co-sponsored neighborhood Halloween party, big lawn banner, announcements in various Neighborhood Association newsletters and e-news blasts. Plus neighborhood trick-or- treating and“wear your costume to church”Sunday • Presidential Election: Co-hosted evening for two senate candidates • Over-Determined Success: 
 Why didn't we just pick the one "silver bullet" that would've worked? • Because we didn't know which one it was! • Also, each effort had a chance to reach different people, and the roughly 25 people we were hoping would stick (of about 50-60 that might come through), really wasn't that large a number when you broke it down (e.g. 6 from door hangers, 2 from lawn banner, 8 from personal invitation, 3 from Spooktacular, 4 from the weeknight events, etc. all starts to add up) Questions, Comments, Discussion... Highrock Quincy Retreat • Creating an Invite Culture • 02-28-2015 page of7 10
  8. 8. NOTES: Proposed Outreach Strategy Timeline these are just suggestions to help spark your ideas and help the planning process NOW | Season of Lent/Pre-Easter Season personal and congregational preparation • “Discipleship”Study or Message Series • focused on the biblical motivation and practical skills 
 of personal and church-wide invitation and outreach • teach, train, and encourage each other to 
 Invite, Welcome, & Involve newcomers • Prayer and Fasting • around obedience to God in reaching others • around themes of lost people, inviting friends, 
 and seeking God's blessing in bringing others in • Enlist Small Groups, Ministry Teams, Task Forces, etc. • to focus on this area with their group’s time & efforts • to implement ideas as a group mission project NEXT | Easter Season 2016 Outreach significant invitation efforts by everyone • “Invite”Message Series (more outreach-focused) • create series that's attractive and easy to invite to • supplement with one or two special invite events • remove all other distractions (no extra small groups, new ministries, etc) • This is the one thing the entire church is focused on during these weeks • Goals & Measuring Fruitfulness • Qualitative • are people encouraged and excited? • what is the“energy level”in worship? • how are the leaders getting along? • Others? • Quantitative: • number invited (get commitments beforehand, try to measure): _______ • decisions for Christ: _______ • peak attendance: _______ [faith-filled/reality-based stretch goal] • Break through the“125 barrier”with average coming out of May: _______ • Financial Health improving: _______ • Others? (small group attendance, involvement in ministry teams, etc): LOOKING AHEAD | Sept 2016:“Back-to-School”Outreach Season • Pull out all the stops, be fully prepared & ready for the increase God wants to bring! • Extend to or thru the“200 barrier”in worship (as just one fruitful measure) • Likely run Sept thru mid-Nov, perhaps in 2-3 parts Highrock Quincy Retreat • Creating an Invite Culture • 02-28-2015 page of8 10
  9. 9. NOTES: Design Teams Exercise for Highrock Quincy Covenant Church “Open Source Outreach: 
 Enlisting Your People for Fresh Outreach Ideas” This is an approach that can be adapted to any church, regardless of size, culture, style, etc…(several churches have!) • First, the pastoral staff created a message series worth inviting friends, family, and neighbors to called “Failed Christians.” This would run during the Easter Season, an excellent time of year to focus on outreach and evangelism (for messages visit, powerful videos at • One month before the series we presented this "open source outreach" idea at The Gallery (our quarterly ministry showcase for celebration, evaluation, vision- casting, and future plans;“members expected, everyone welcome”). • The end result was very encouraging. With the members of each design team truly feeling invested in the process and seeing tangible fruit from their creative efforts. We easily saw as many new people come and get connected as we had from any other outreach efforts, with relatively little expense, and far more people involved. Here’s what we presented at Artisan Church on Wed 02-23-2008 I. Open Source Outreach Project A. Goals 1. Internal: “from attenders to active inviters”: tangibly create ownership among Artisans for inviting their friends and peers 2. External: “from curious to welcomed guests”: creatively welcome 10-15 guests per group during the Easter Series B. Potential Design Teams 1. Eastman School of Music 3. SE City of Rochester 2. Rochester Institute of Technology 4. Strong Hospital/UofR C. Funding 1. $75 seed money from the church budget 2. $75 matching grant (if the Design Teams chipped in their own money) D. Timeline & Worksheet for Open Source Outreach Project 1. Today (02-23-2008): a) present idea and take questions,
 b) decide 3-4 design teams, c) explain personal brainstorming worksheet 2. To Do This Week: Personal Brainstorming a) Start thinking: (1) what would connect with your friends and peers? (2) what would raise their interest in this message series? (3) what would make them comfortable or intrigued to visit worship? b) Write a description: How would you describe the typical person you’re group is trying to invite and welcome? c) Five Raw Ideas: write down five ideas of ways to“invite”
 (don’t worry if they’re good, bad, or ugly! :-) 3. Next Sunday 3/2: Group Brainstorming & Design Session a) Morning: Eastman, RIT, Strong/UofR (lunch provided) b) Evening: SE City, possibly Strong/UofR (dinner provided) 4. Around Sunday 3/9: Final Design & Implementation a) Default Time & Place: following worship, just like on 3/2 b) Optional Time & Place: other location or time that makes more sense Highrock Quincy Retreat • Creating an Invite Culture • 02-28-2015 page of9 10
  10. 10. NOTES: Worksheet for Highrock Quincy Covenant Church
 “Open Source Outreach Project” Design Teams: 3-5 is probably good, circle yours when done 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Dates & Deadlines: • My Design Team Meets Together: • We Finalize & Implement By: • Others?: Your Description of“Typical Guest”You and Your Team Will Invite: • 
 Five Raw Ideas: write down five ideas of ways to“invite” (don’t worry if they’re good, bad, or ugly! :-) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Additional Prayers, Thoughts, Ideas, etc. • • • • Highrock Quincy Retreat • Creating an Invite Culture • 02-28-2015 page of10 10 Real-Life Example: Design Team of Eastman School of Music Students Their Key Descriptors of Eastman Students • 17-22 years old • Spiritually Curious (aware of 'Easter', not church-goers) • De-churched • busy, new place, disconnected, lack of transportation • No 'green space' on campus • Musically savvy :) Top Outreach Ideas • Feature Eastman musicians at worship where Ben's "Failed Christian" story is shared [one of our our band leaders and a Masters student at Eastman that many undergrads knew and looked up to; he's featured in the videos with the beard & grey "Geneseo" hoodie] • eastman & Facebook event • Posters around campus w/ tear-offs (see“Bonus Mat’ls”) • contact info & rides details • use humor! rough example: "Come hang out w/ "Failed Christians" of Eastman! (they're just more fun)" Fruitful Results In the end they put together an incredible music ensemble, even performing an original composition for their particular Sunday. Following that, many more continued to come from Eastman and get connected.