GrowthPartners International, Inc. is a corporation made up of individuals who desire others to experience meaningful, personal growth through the church. We recognize the church as God’s primary agent for this age and seek to help Christians make their church “home” for themselves and others.
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Jan. 5: The feast of Epiphany is upon us! Inspire other to spread the Light of Jesus’ birth!
“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:10-2:11
For many of us, the cold weather has settled in and the Christmas season is winding down. This may be a dismal time of year for our weather, but our churches are filled with the brightness of Christ’s light, as he reveals himself to the nations through the Feast of Epiphany!
This church celebration has many names and is celebrated differently around the world. Some of these names include, Feast of the Three Kings, Theophany, the Adoration of the Magi, Fiesta de Los Reyes, Three Kings Day and Twelfth Night.
Although the Christian tradition varies, this is a great time of year to focus on showing others that Jesus was born as a Savior for all the people! The three Kings came to visit the baby Jesus from distant lands. They understood that this new born infant, lying in a manger would be important to the entire human race, and it shows us that we are to open our hearts to everyone and welcome them to Christ’s Church.
On this Sunday, be sure to show your members the light of Jesus, as he was first made known as the Messiah. Encourage them to set a goal to invite one new person (or family) to church each Sunday in 2014!
Dec. 29: Think about your Christ Centered Resolutions for the New Year. Have your members think about theirs too, and find accountability partners to stay on track!
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Philippians 1:6
Now that the holiday hustle and bustle is over, it is time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions…not only for the church, but also those for yourself and your members! This time of year often inspires people to be a little more introspective, examining themselves and how they would like to improve as a person. What better way to make a New Year’s Resolution, than to bring God into the equation?
Here are a few resolutions that may inspire you or your church:
• Focus on reading the bible each day. Set a certain amount of time, or maybe even choose a certain book each month!
• Think about choosing to go technology free after dinner or on Sundays. Take the time you normally would on your computer, cell phone or tablet, and instead focus on connecting with your family, reading, playing board games or another hobby.
• Inspire your members to invite their friends and family to church. Even if it’s only one Sunday, it could be the inspiration someone needs to follow Jesus.
• Volunteer or serve others on a regular basis. This can be a great way to get involved with your local charities and community.
Of course, the most important thing about setting resolutions is sticking to them. This may be the hardest step of all. Sometimes having the accountability of a partner, spouse, or even a group, can help everyone stay on par with their Christian resolutions! This is a great activity that bible study, and men’s or women’s groups can help each other with, so that everyone can succeed and become better together!
Dec. 22: Plan ahead to have a Welcome Committee to greet newcomers to your service. Plan to order welcome folder packages, registration cards and a small gift as a token for them to take home. Such as a calendar magnet, mug, Bible ribbon bookmark, etc. Ask people to share Christmas memories.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
In just a few short days, your church will be filled with families and visitors who are there to exclaim and celebrate Jesus’ Holy birth! This is such a beautiful time of year for Christ’s Church! By embracing the traditions of Christmas past, you can really connect with your guests during your holiday services.
Getting everyone involved in your church is not as hard as you’d think!
Here are a few ideas to think about:
• Have volunteers ready to help visitors find their way, and welcome them to your space. Provide them with a Welcome Folder Package, which will give them the opportunity to register as a new member or visitor at your church.
• Take a few minutes during your service to ask those attending to share a Christmas memory!
• Ask children to make a homemade “Happy Birthday” card for the newborn baby Jesus! Tell them to bring it to the service where they can place it in a basket for Him.
• Make time during the service for a quiet 5-10 minutes that everyone can spend in prayer and thanksgiving. Christmas is such a busy and hectic time. Why not have your worship band or choir play a slow Christmas song, so your guests can spend a moment in peace and fellowship!
• Have volunteers at the end of the service hand out small gifts with your church’s name on them. This little take away can remind your guests of their experiences for months to come!
• Think about organizing a caroling trip for after your Christmas Eve services. This is a great way to spread Christmas cheer to your community and even yourselves!
Christmas is such an important time to increase growth in your congregation! Let GrowthPartners help your church Invite, Welcome, Connect and Remind your community through all of your seasons!
Dec. 15: Put final touches on your events and holiday worship services. Have people personally invite their friends to the holiday events. Plan ahead for a small gift as a token to give to attendees. A calendar magnet or Bible ribbon bookmark are great year-round gifts.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
It is during this Christmas season, that many families in your community may be walking into your church for the first or second time this year. Making sure your hospitality team is ready with all the necessary Welcome Tools can help your church make a lasting impression, and maybe even turn your visitors into members!
It is important to remind your members to personally invite their friends, family and even their co-workers, to your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services. Your hospitality team should be ready to greet visitors at the door and answer any questions they may have. Having your Welcome Folders available on a table or in each pew, will easily give the necessary church info to those who may not regularly attend. It will also include a registration card, which becomes a great invitation for them to become a part of your church family.
As a small token to all of your Christmas attendees, think about a calendar magnet for their refrigerator, or even a bookmark or bible ribbon! What an easy way to remind your visitors of your church throughout the year.
These special touches will make your church more inviting to your new guests, and hopefully create a new connection in your church family!
Next week we will discuss how to get everyone involved in your Christmas events!
Dec. 8: Plan for your events. Practice for the Children’s Holiday Pageant or Program. Send out your Community Canvass Program Postcard to invite the community to your event(s) and Christmas service.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10
Now that we have kicked off the Christmas season, it is time to think about ways to Invite, Welcome, Connect, and Remind your church members and community of your holiday services, Children’s Pageants, or other programs.
Christmas is a time of renewed hope and faith. Often times, it is this time of year when people begin to think about going to Church again with their families. This is a great time for your church to make a welcoming impression on your visitors, and to remind your community members of what your church and more importantly, what Christ has to offer them.
A simple and easy way to effectively communicate to your community would be with the help of our Community Canvass program. The first step is to pick out a design, or have our designers customize one for you. We can then customize your postcard with your Christmas service and program information. After that, you just have to pick out the zip codes you’d like to send your postcards to. We print, prep and ship it all for you! Let us help you this busy Christmas season, as we partner together to help plant the seeds and grow your church family!
Next week, we will talk about ways to make sure your hospitality team is ready for your Christmas services!
Dec. 1: Start your four-week Bible Study for adults, teens and children. Have them share a common message. Ask families to talk about what they learned in their study with each other.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:12-13
As we approach the Christmas season, it is increasingly difficult to find time to focus on Jesus and center your self and your family around the real meaning of the holiday. Instead of hoping to fit in time for prayer and devotions, it might be helpful to pre plan an hour a week with your family or a few families from church for a four-week bible study centered on a Christmas theme.
A few suggestions for topics to discuss are:
• Advent Bible Verses
• The Incarnation of Christ
• The Christmas Story
• Living the Christmas Spirit Throughout The Year
• Ways to Instill Christ Back Into Your Christmas
This time of year is great to focus on the above lessons that Jesus gives us. By including children in your study, you reinforce the true meaning of Christmas in their lives. Be sure to ask everyone involved to share what they have learned in their study together, and how it reminds them to embody the true meaning of the season.
As a little token of their participation, consider our inexpensive Christmas themed Quick Ship Christmas Pen. With a beautiful “Joy to The World, The Lord has Come!” inscription, the pen will serve as a daily reminder to keep Christ at the center!
Next week, we will talk about how you will invite your church members and community to your Children’s Pageant or other Christmas programs.
Nov. 24: This is a great weekend to focus on what we are thankful for – ask children to share at your services.
This time of year is special to many of us because of the family gatherings and traditions to celebrate. It can also be very busy as we shuffle from one place to the other, cook for hours and shop for the perfect gift. Sometimes we just need to spend some time reflecting on all of the blessings that God has given us this past year.
Take some quiet time to yourself in prayer or reading scriptures so you can hear God’s voice and thank him for everything he has put into your life, and how each circumstance has given you the opportunity to love and grow in Him.
Asking children to share what they are thankful for is a great way to be reminded of the big and small gifts in life. Oftentimes, children have a unique perspective on the holiday and their sharing would make a great addition at your services for everyone to hear.
The holiday season usually brings a lot of visitors into church, and also inspires those who may not attend a church regularly to think about their spiritual life. This is a great time to stock up on your Welcome Folder Package and other products in order for you to be prepared to make those people feel at home in your space!
Next week, we will talk about creating a Christmas Bible Study for a prayer filled Advent season.
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!
Nov. 17: Finalize plans for your holiday dinner and/or volunteering at a local shelter.
Now is the time to work on finalizing all of your church’s Thanksgiving and Christmas event plans. By being organized, you and your volunteers can ensure a smooth sailing and joyous holiday season!
Sometimes it is easier to tackle one small task at a time, rather than getting overwhelmed by looking at the big picture. Having meetings with your volunteer leaders and coordinators can help you with delegating each task out, so that the work doesn’t fall on just one or two people. By sharing the responsibilities, everyone will have less to do and more time to peacefully enjoy and reflect on Jesus and His holy birth.
This is also a great time to think about organizing a church group or even your own family to lift the spirits of those who may not feel a reason to celebrate during this time of year. You can visit nursing homes or even volunteer at a local shelter, food pantry, or organization that helps out those who are in need this holiday season. By showing children how to help others, you can instill in them a Christ-like compassion for all people. Let them know that you do not do these things to earn God’s favor, but to love Him by loving others.
A great and easy way to give a small gift to those you visit, help or invite into your church is to pass out beautiful ribbons or bookmarks. We have many inexpensive options to choose from. Pick a design that will provoke thought and remind them of God’s love for them! Tis the season for gift giving and spreading the good news of Jesus’s arrival!
Next week, as Thanksgiving approaches, we will talk about our blessings and how to encourage the children in our lives to share what they are thankful for!
Nov. 10: Mail the Community Canvass Invite Postcard for your holiday dinner on Thanksgiving or event on the weekend after. Invite your community ~ ask for an RSVP.
Inviting Your Community
Hopefully by this time, you’ve established all of your seasonal events and festivities. Whether it be a Thanksgiving Dinner, Children’s Pageant or your special Holiday service, now is the time to invite, welcome, connect and remind!
Continue reading here…
There is no better way to conveniently get the word out than using our Community Canvass Mailing postcards. It’s a simple and easy way to spread your message to those in your area, without having to design, make your own list or even mail!
One way to get your mailed out invitation noticed is to have an eye-catching design. We have many pre-made templates that are as simple as adding your own text to the backside of the appropriate postcard. If you have a creative vision for what you want your invitation to look like, our designers will be happy to help your design come to life!
Inviting the community to your events is a great way to get your Church’s name out there, and for them to come experience all of the joy and friendship that a church family can provide.
It really is as easy as:
· Planning your event.
· Choosing your template.
· Providing the text of Who, What, Where and When.
· Telling us the zip code to where we will mail them.
By giving us at least 3 weeks notice, your postcard can be in your community’s hands 1 week prior to the event!
Next week we will talk about finalizing your special event plans.
Nov. 3: Start your Prayer Chain on red and green paper strips to decorate your tree. Have families suggest people to invite into your church for services, bible study or to your special events.
Creating a Prayer Chain
As the “Christ”mas season approaches, you may be looking for a way to use the power of the Holy Spirit to connect your church to those in your community. One way to get your members involved, is to create a church wide prayer chain.
Begin by cutting up strips of paper–green and red are a festive color choice!
During one of your weekly services or meetings, invite all of your members to take one, or a few strips of paper. Have them reflect on people who they would like to see connect back into the Church, or need God’s grace and healing in their life. The advent season is very busy, but it also marks the beginning of a new church year and symbolizes renewal and rebirth for everyone.
Don’t forget to include the children in this activity. Ask them to think about family and friends who they would like to pray for
After you have distributed all the paper strips, during the next service or throughout the season, invite them to add their piece to the chain. Start by making a loop of one piece, and then connect each one by looping and attaching them together by glue, tape or staple.
As you build your prayer chain, begin to decorate your Christmas tree or hang it around the church for all to pray for and enjoy. If you want to take it a step further, use our Prayer Request Cards to help gather your member’s specific requests for the Christ centered season. What a great way to invite your members to prayerfully reflect on those who need to be called to God’s church.
Next time we will discuss welcoming and reminding the community about your Holiday events by sending out your Community Canvass!
Oct. 27: Finalize your plans for Trunk-or-Treat. Order magnets ahead of time to distribute for “Save This Date” for your Children’s Pageant, Christmas Program, Birthday Party or Holiday Dinner. Include your service times and locations.
Magnets Have A Long “Refrigerator” Life
Studies have shown that a magnet placed on a person’s refrigerator have a seven year lifespan.
As you gather the community at your church for a “Trunk or Treat” event, a Thanksgiving Celebration or a Christmas Service, it is a great time to distribute a magnet with your church’s name and contact information imprinted on it. It could be a “Save The Date” magnet with an event and a picture of your church. Or it could be a business card size (2” x 3-1/2”) magnet with your service times and contact information.
With a new year just around the corner, it could be a calendar magnet with your church’s contact information and certain dates highlighted on it as a useful reminder throughout the year. Let our design team help you plan your message.
So whether you would hand them out at your “Trunk or Treat” event or one of your other upcoming holiday gatherings, your magnet would have a longer life than paper.
“Feet On The Street”
Before the weather turns too cold, many people and families are outdoors in their neighborhoods. They could be your church’s “feet on the street”! A great way to invite the community into your church for an event and/or your holiday services is a seasonal door hanger.
Order your door hangers and plan to distribute them after services or after your “Trunk or Treat” event on Halloween. Plan a map of your city or area and designate the section to blanket for each family. Provide them with their map and door hangers. Request that the task be completed by a certain date; that they confirm with the committee when they have blanketed their assigned area or if a situation arises and they are unable to complete the task. You should have a list of back-up people to help finish the job.
Remember when planning your message to check for the 5 “W”s ~ Who, What, Where, When and Why. Include a small map with an arrow to your church. Make it easy to come to your event. If you require an RSVP, make it easy for your guests by putting a direct phone number or e-mail address on your door hanger.
Invite and welcome the community into your church home to celebrate the Christmas Season. Remember to order your “Save The Date” Magnets or a Calendar Magnet to give out at your “Trunk or Treat” event.
Oct. 13: Decide on your visitor marketing. Plan your Community Canvass Holiday Mailing Postcard to invite the community to your events ~ view our holiday templates online here: http://www.growthpartnersintl.com/community-canvass/
A weeks notice … or … A day’s notice
You know your friends. Some need at least a week’s notice to come to a planned event. They want to come but have a busy schedule. Some of your friends can come at a moments notice. So when your church is inviting the community to a Holiday even at your church consider all types of their schedules.
$25 off on Community Canvass Mailing October 2013 Only
Utilizing our Community Canvass Mailing program can cover all areas for your advertising needs. Choosing one of our pre-designed templates can put a mailed piece in your communities hands sooner.
Consider this timeline:
1) Plan your event details.
2) Speak with a GrowthPartners Intl. Customer Service Representative to place your order by choosing a template, customize it with your information and choose the zip code routes around you for your postcard to be mailed to.
3) Plan to approve your Postcard proof within 24 hours (during the business week) to keep the process moving ~ the sooner we get your approval the sooner we can get them printed and mailed!
4) Allow print production time and mailing of your postcards to your local post office for distribution ~ about 7-10 business days.
5) So the planning question is how many days ahead of the event do you want your four color postcard invitation in your communities hands. The postcard is a large reminder they can use to prompt them of the location, date & time of your event.
Your Community Canvass Mailing will present your church professionally and organized. You want a great community attended event. Plan ahead for your event and use one of our marketing tools that will work for you.
Community Canvass Mailing:
Oct. 6: Bring together a task force to decide on your holiday event(s).
Suggestions to create a Holiday Environment centered around Christ
Your Events Are Invitation Opportunities!
As you start to form your task force, think about your “Christ”mas centered event’s your church wants. Your timeline for October, November and December will dictate your events and marketing. Think about how you can utilize an event to market your next event during the holiday season. As an example, http://www.growthpartnersintl.com/cce/
If you plan a Trunk-or-Treat event using our Community Canvass Mailing ($25.00 off Special in October!) to invite your community into your church ~ you could distribute “Save The Date” Magnets during your event to invite them back for a “Thanks”giving holiday dinner or your events during Christmas such as a children’s pageant or program and your Christmas service times. http://www.growthpartnersintl.com/community-canvass/
Planning to have a take-away item at any of these events will remind your community year-round that you are here for them. Think about a Calendar Magnet, a Satin Bible Bookmark or a mug/thermos with your contact information imprinted on it. All of these are useful items. http://www.growthpartnersintl.com/products/church-products/calendar-magnets/ http://www.growthpartnersintl.com/products/custom-ribbon-bookmarks/
Planning ahead keeps the stress level low during what can be a stressful holiday season. Remember you are reaching out to invite a new person or family to attend your planned event. You want to create an atmosphere of friendship and welcome. Also plan to follow-up and continue the friendship. Invite them to become part of your church family. Your initial invitation sets the tone for your other events and years of friendship.
Suggestions to create a Holiday Environment centered around Christ
• Start the season with a Trunk-or-Treat event at your church.
• Plan a “Thanks”giving service including a community dinner or volunteering at a local shelter.
• Organize a Bible Study for adults, teens and children centered around the events leading to Christ’s birth.
• Plan a children’s sermon sharing how to be more Christ-like during the holiday season.
• Ask your members over 50 to share their holiday childhood memories during a service.
• Plan a Children’s Pageant or Christmas Program and invite your community.
• Collect donations to purchase children’s bibles and donate them to a local shelter or charity to give for Christmas gifts.
• Plan a birthday party for Christ.