Sun. Jan 24th, 2021

BRING-A-FRIEND SUNDAY A TIME-TESTED INVITING PLAN

 

A congregation whose Sunday morning worship attendance averaged 50 had 125 on “Bring-A-Friend Sunday.” Another church, whose worship attendance averaged 100, had 200 in worship. While the percentage increase is usually less dramatic in larger congregations (churches averaging 300 in worship may have 385 that day), the results are still impressive.

For the past sixteen years, variants of the original “Bring-A-Friend Sunday” model have motivated church members to invite friends and acquaintances to worship. The plan (outlined below) still works. As with all methods of this sort, the more attention leaders give to precisely executing each time-tested detail of the strategy, the greater the results.

General Information for Leaders

The congregation should designate a specific Sunday as “Bring-A-Friend Sunday.” On that day, the congregation’s members will bring friends to share in a special morning worship and fellowship luncheon. (Churches with more than one morning worship service have successfully added a breakfast or brunch to the luncheon–so early-service attenders are not excluded from the experience.)

The Underlying Principles on which Bring-A-Friend Sunday Stands: (1) Studies show that 70 to 90 percent of the new members in every congregation attended the first time because someone who attends there invited them. (2) Getting people to attend worship for the first time is often the most difficult of all the steps leading toward commitment to Jesus Christ. (3) The Bible says that every member of the congregation should be involved in its evangelism ministry.

The Goals: (1) Each member of the congregation will bring a friend, relative, or acquaintance (one who does not attend some other church) to morning worship and lunch on Bring-A-Friend Sunday; (2) People will be introduced to Jesus Christ and the warm fellowship of those who bear his name; and (3) Members of the congregation will renew their spiritual enthusiasm and commitment to evangelism reachout.

The Plan: All growing congregations have some system for attracting nonmembers and responding to them with friendly interest. Bring-A-Friend Sunday gives each church member an opportunity to participate in this mission. Six weeks of specific activities will precede Bring-A-Friend Sunday. (A specific plan of action designed to bring visitors into relationship with Jesus Christ and church membership must be used during the weeks following Bring-A-Friend Sunday, but that kind of plan is not included in these pages.*)

The Organization: The evangelism committee and church governing body will obtain participation in the Bring-A-Friend Sunday events. The organizational structure of Bring-A-Friend Sunday insures that someone encourages every church member to participate by bringing a guest to morning worship and the fellowship luncheon.

The Leadership Team: The special Bring-A-Friend Sunday Team meets once a week for six weeks prior to the chosen date. Perhaps not more than thirty minutes each, these weekly meetings are essential.

The Keys to Success: Follow the outline exactly as written, especially at the point of a catered lunch (which can be something simple such as fast-food fried chicken). An expensive meal is not necessary; the key factor is making reservations for a catered lunch. (Everyone knows that a potluck dinner never requires individual reservations–so people are not motivated to make the reservations in advance or to honor them if made.)

If leaders follow the outline and secure the members’ participation in each step of the plan, Bring-A-Friend Sunday will succeed. If not, it cannot. Every effort must be made to inform, inspire, and commit all members to full participation.

Instruction for Contacting All Church Members

Members of the church governing body and other key leaders make personal visits to all church members’ homes, following these instructions:

1. Our goal is to secure a promise from every church member to participate in Bring-A-Friend Sunday by attending and bringing a guest to the morning worship and special luncheon. (Please urge members to avoid inviting guests who actively attend some other church.) Urge them to invite longtime prospective members from files in the church office, acquaintances, relatives, friends at work, neighbors, social-life friends, friends at school, community-organization friends, new people in the community, business friends, customers, and clients.

2. A printed invitation card similar to the one illustrated on page 14 can increase church members’ motivation to invite. It provides a “conversation starter” that helps both the inviter and the invitee.

3. All reservations are due in the church office (or the home of the calling coordinator) on (date)___________, one week before Bring-A-Friend Sunday.

4. Each caller should make a personal contact with every church member on his or her list. A personal visit in the home is much more effective than any other approach. It is too easy to ignore or “forget” a telephone call or to say no to an impersonal appeal. This call in the home informs church members of the total Bring-A-Friend Sunday plan–guests will be invited to morning worship and a luncheon for all members and friends immediately after church on Sunday morning. (The meal will be catered and free to all attenders–cost provided by the church budget.) Tell the families that you will telephone them at a specific time (on which you agree with them) about one week after the home visit to obtain the names of the guests they will bring and the total number of persons (both members and guests) who will eat lunch.

5. At the specific time agreed upon during the personal visit, each caller telephones all the people on whom he or she has called–to obtain the names of the guests they are bringing to Bring-A-Friend Sunday worship and lunch and the total number of persons (both members and guests) who will eat lunch. Use the reservation card (illustrated on page 15) to make their reservations for the two events.

Date
1. ________________
6 weeks before
Bring-A-Friend Sunday

Task or Event
Selection of key leaders: General Chairperson, Worship Coordinator, Luncheon Coordinator, Calling Coordinator. This leadership team should meet together once each week during the six weeks prior to Bring-A-Friend Sunday (BAFS).

Who Is Responsible
Evangelism Chairperson and Pastor

Date
2. _______________
5 weeks before
Bring-A-Friend Sunday

Task or Event
Announce BAFS events in morning worship.
Mail Letter #1 to all members.

Who Is Responsible
General Chairperson and Church Office Staff

Date
4 weeks before
Bring-A-Friend Sunday

Task or Event
Member families divided into groups of approximately five each for personal calls to be made by Church Governing Body members and other key leaders.

Church newsletter article concerning BAFS.

Who Is Responsible
General Chairperson and Calling Coordinator

Church Office Staff

Date
4. _______________
3 weeks before
Bring-A-Friend Sunday

Task or Event
Pastor emphasizes our responsibility for evangelism and church growth in sermon.

Church Governing Body members and other key leaders begin calling in homes of all church families to communicate with them about BAFS. (Stress the need to invite real prospects, not people who regularly attend other churches.) Make arrangements with them for a specific time about one week from now when you can telephone them to make reservations for them and their guests for the BAFS worship and luncheon. (If your church has more than one morning worship service, add a breakfast or brunch after the early service.)

Who Is Responsible

Pastor

Church Governing Body and Other Key Leaders

 

Date
5. ____________________
2 weeks to 1 week before Bring-A-Friend Sunday

Task or Event
Each caller telephones all the people on whom he or she has called in order to obtain names of the guests they will bring to BAFS worship and lunch and the total number of persons (both members and guests) who will eat lunch. The phone call is made at the specific time agreed upon during the personal visit, about one week later.

Who Is Responsible
Church Governing Body and Other Key Leaders

Date
6._____________________
2 weeks before
Bring-A-Friend Sunday

Task or Event
Mail Letter #2 to all members.

Who Is Responsible
Church Office Staff

Date
7.____________________
1 week before
Bring-A-Friend Sunday

Task or Event
Callers must have all reservations turned in to Calling Coordinator, who then telephones any unaccounted-for members to confirm all reservations.

Who Is Responsible
Church Governing Body and Other Key Leaders and Calling Coordinator

Date
8. _________________
Bring-A-Friend Sunday

Task or Event
Morning worship and luncheon for all members and their guests. Having the entire lunch catered, with cost provided by the church budget, is a must. Quality and kind of meal is not significant–some type of “fast food” can work. Be sure to plan adequately for extra ushers and nursery staff to handle the large crowd.

Who Is Responsible
Pastor and Luncheon Coordinator

 

Letter #1

(date)

Dear Friends.

By now you are aware that (date) __________ has been designated as BRING-A-FRIEND SUNDAY for _______________Church. I know that you are concerned that we share with others the warm fellowship we enjoy in Jesus Christ.

Persons you might wish to invite would include longtime prospective members, acquaintances, relatives, friends at work, neighbors, social-life friends, friends at school, community-organization friends, new people in the community, business friends, customers, and clients.

Soon, you will be contacted personally to secure your commitment to bring a guest and attend the special morning worship and fellowship luncheon scheduled for BRING-A-FREND SUNDAY, (date)________________________________.

Remember that the success of this endeavor depends upon each individual member’s initiative and dedication.

Sincerely,

Ralph Jones
General Chairperson
BRING-A-FRIEND SUNDAY

 

Letter #2

(date)

Dear Friends,

The date of BRING-A-FREND SUNDAY, (date)_______________is fast approaching.

If you have not made plans to bring a guest and attend the special worship service and fellowship luncheon next Sunday, please do so. You can secure your reservations for these events by contacting Bill Marlin at 7992562.

Your participation is needed to make this an exciting and profitable event in the life of______________________Church.

Sincerely,

Ralph Jones
General Chairperson
BRING-A-FREND SUNDAY

 

 

 

INVITATION FOLDER FOR ALL MEMBERS

You Are Cordially Invited
To a Special

“Bring-A-Friend
Sunday”

March 12, 1995

At

Central Community Church

First and Central
Rock City, Kansas

(Outside of Folder)

 

Will You Be Our
Guest

Sunday, March 12

For
The Worship Celebration
10:45 a.m.

and for
The All Church Dinner (Noon)

We hope you will accept our invitation!

We’ll be back in touch!!

(Inside of Folder)

 

RESERVATION CARD
“BRING-A-FRIEND SUNDAY”

(date)___________________________

(church)_________________________

Name of Host Member___________________________________

Names of Guests_______________________________________

______________________________________________________

Total Number (both members and guests) Who Will Attend Worship and Lunch_____________________________

 

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY NET RESULTS, MAY 1995, PAGES 10-15. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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