I suppose that if there’s one thing that most churches fail at the most, it’s here, during the follow up stage. I know Follow Up was always a struggle with me when I was pastoring churches.
I learned that the major reason most churches fail at follow up is simple: the event coordinators are exhausted.
If you host a wild game dinner, and if you do it right, then you started at least 1 year out, booking a speaker, securing dates, that sort of thing. By the time the day of the event gets here, you’re sick of it because it’s consumed your life.
However, for those who’ve accepted Christ, the journey for you as a ministry group is just beginning. The harvest is picked and it’s time to get on it.
So how do you do it? Here’s some effective ways I’ve seen over the years as I’ve traveled across the country speaking to hunters.
Form A Follow Up Team For Your Wild Game Dinner.
I actually stumbled upon this myself the first year I hosted a wild game dinner in the 1990s. Our first year our follow up was pathetic, for reasons just mentioned; we were exhausted. The next year, I formed a 6 man team who was responsible for follow up and for follow up only. I wouldn’t even allow them to come to planning meetings. No kidding. They weren’t allowed to do anything prior to the event. Let me tell you, by the time the event day arrived, while we were exhausted, they were chomping at the bit to get on their assignment. My gosh it worked beautifully.
Arm Your Team With A Gift.
It’s hard to say no to a free gift, especially when it’s something a hunter could use. I’ve seen follow up teams use some of my DVDs, and even use the NIV Outdoorsman Bible, as a tool to follow up with those who indicated they wanted to know more about Christ or for those who came to Christ during the event.
For example, let’s say 11 men pray to receive Christ at your event. Then purchase 11 NIV Outdoorsman Bibles, or 11 DVDs, and have a 2 man team drop by their house for a quick visit just to give it to them.
Please note: drill into your men that this is not a long, personal visit. They need to stop by, say thanks, give the gift, and leave. Unless, of course, the guy wants them to come in; by all means do so at that point.
See, if you do follow up right, this isn’t the last time you’re going to contact this man. You should have had the forethought to get his email address for future events [visit that strategy].
The very same guy that dropped off the Bible is going to call him in a few weeks just to check on him. Keep that stuff up. It’s a relational marathon, not a sprint!
Host A Close Encounters Study.
Another option I saw work incredibly well was simple, but highly effective. I was speaking at a men’s event in Virginia and these guys thought of something that really, really worked out well for them. It was so simple, but man, to be honest, the idea hadn’t ever crossed my mind, and I was the author of the study!
These guys offered a low pressure option, a sign-up list on the table for a 6 week Close Encounters study. Close Encounters was a short, six session Bible study for hunters where you watch a hunt, then I break it down as a study for the viewers.
A little food, a little fellowship, a 30 minute hunt/study, and out the door. It was a seamless approach, and would you believe that over 30 men, most of whom didn’t attend their church, signed up and attended?!
Whatever you do, remember, when the day of the event arrives, the brutal facts are that your ministry to the community is just beginning. Don’t blow it. Stay the course and you’ll see God bring an increase. Families will be changed, sons and daughters will be impacted forever, because God used you to change their daddy and her husband.
Jason Cruise is a published author and speaker. He's the host of Spring Chronicles on Sportsman Channel.
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