As a pastor, you’re always looking for ways to attract visitors, invite them to return, help them become believers and continue to grow and be active church members. It’s a big job but here is one way to kick start all these efforts: A church campaign launched by a movie night is one of the best ways to kick-start your connection to your community. Here is why:
Movies attract visitors:
People love going to the movies, so hosting a movie night at your church is a no-brainer. Another plus is that a movie event is a lot easier than a church service for members to invite their friends and neighbors to. It’s not only non-threatening, it’s fun!
Pair your event with fun refreshments, child care, and a few interesting discussion questions afterwards, and suddenly your visitors are having a good time, making friends and feeling more comfortable in your church!
Pastor Stewart McWilliams, of Fellowship of the Rockies, saw success this way at his church’s two locations - he posted outdoor banners on the building and empowered his congregation with personal invitations promoting the church’s three showings of I Can Only Imagine.
“We have had over 100 people come to the movie.” McWilliams said. “One of our deacons was so touched by the movie he went and purchased a copy and took it to someone who couldn’t get out.”
Sermon series keeps visitors coming back:
By pairing your movie event with a new sermon series that covers the topics from the movie, your visitors will have a reason to come back on Sunday Morning. For example, show I Can Only Imagine on a Friday night and then let your audience know that you will be speaking on Sunday about forgiveness, reconciliation and God as our loving heavenly father...your visitors will probably be interested in hearing more. Plus they can sit with their new friends and have a free donut!
Small Group engagement is higher
Finally, along with your sermon series, your church can launch small groups to really dive deep into the same topics and help each person apply what they’ve learned to their life. Keep the commitment short and easy - only for 4-6 weeks - and provide childcare. Now you have people who are regularly attending, connecting with new friends and learning more about God!
“This is the largest group participation we have ever had for a fall launch. This is the first time all the groups at church, including men’s and women’s groups, are doing the [same] study [from I Can Only Imagine].” McWilliam’s reported.
Try this combination of movies and teaching at your church to see if you have similar success. There is a great selection of film and study options available - check them out.