How you get them to show up, part one.

“Pastor Jon, how can we get more people to register for our event?”

“Pastor Jon, we need someone to volunteer to teach that class. They are great kids. How can we get someone to help?”

“Jon, we’re doing a new 6-week study. Everyone should sign up.  I mean, it will be life-changing. But no one is. How can we make them come?”

Those are some of the questions I get asked regularly. (Or wish I got asked more often). I try to answer, but it is right before the event or I’m in the middle of something else, or we are having the conversation in the hallway on Sunday morning with 2 minutes until the next event starts.

I realized this morning that I could help myself and the people in our congregation who are planning events (and maybe you, especially for your nonprofit-related projects) by actually answering those questions before they are asked, before the last minute, perhaps even before the event is scheduled.  (This is part of “putting it on paper”, an idea you can read about in my post “simultaneous lives.”)

I’ll talk about a bunch of things as we go along. I may even spin stuff off to a new website. But I’ll give you one idea right now. One idea that can help get people to show up for events and volunteer for projects and sign up for studies and help you change the world.

Because that’s what you are about, right? I mean, the reason that you are pouring your energy and the energy of volunteers and the attention of the whole congregation or nonprofit organization or conference into this event or study or class is because it is about changing the world, right?

You looked at the outline you wrote for this study and you looked in the mirror and said, “I’ve done everything I could to make this provide as much return on investment for these people as I possibly could.” You’ve talked with the facilitators and can say, “these people care about lives way more than they care about attention.” You’ve taken care of the food and the childcare and the temperature and the planning team and every possible detail.

You haven’t?

You need to.

Peter Drucker says, “The non-profit organization exists to bring about a change in individuals and in society.”  (Managing the Nonprofit Organization sponsored link). We are asking people for limited resources and want to give them maximum opportunity to have that impact.

So my first question for helping them show up is this: “Have you honestly asked yourself how this will help them change the world?”

Go work on that. I’ll be back soon.

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5 responses to “How you get them to show up, part one.

  1. Thank you ten thousand times for this, and for all the follow up ideas to come.

  2. That’s the very question I’m asking as I write the grant proposal that is in front of me.

  3. Becky, my pleasure Nancy, that’s a perfect example.

  4. Since there is more than one way for people to “show up”, I think this has–and your other ideas will have–implications for those of us who are in a classroom regularly.

  5. I will do my best, Amy