In my previous post, I developed the reasoning for what I believe to be the most effective way to utilize an expo. Take the time to develop the clear call for inviting people into ministry. In other words, wrap this expo around a series of messages that look at the benefits of volunteerism. Celebrate volunteerism, “show off” what gets accomplished in your church by volunteers and talk about the importance of using the gifts God gives us. Below are a few more keys to help launch a successful expo.
Brief “ministry descriptions” prepared.
As I mentioned, we have six “big buckets” at Granger Community Church. For instance, Guest Relations and Care is one of these six buckets. That bucket incorporates three sub-categories: Retail, Guest Services and Support. Each of those three sub categories has their own ministry teams.
We don’t want to overwhelm our guests with information, so there are only three pages of print distributed at the expo for Guest Relations and Care. Since Guest Services is a sub-category, there is a one-page sheet of information to cover the six teams that we hope guests will consider – usher/greeters, kids check-in, traffic, bulletin assembly, campus guides, security and medical.
Have “next step” opportunities in place.
Every guest who visits a booth, makes a decision in their seat or shows an interest online or throughout the days to come will be given a next step. Every sub-category has a next step. Depending on the ministry, our guests will be asked to attend an orientation where they will get a global view of the “big bucket” they’ve taken interest. This could be followed by a breakout where they might get some brief training and be scheduled for their first weekend event or opportunity.
Have an amazing follow through plan in place.
The bottom line: Without follow through it will all come to a halt. Worse yet, you’ll loose credibility and the opportunity to connect with those whom God has prompted to get out of their seats. An entire post could be written regarding this step but I’m simply going to say this: It’s just good manors! Have well-defined “in-house” expectations and communication, then process ruthlessly how that follow through happens within your system … then follow through on the follow through!
Offer a second chance.
For a lot of people, a second week of expo will be just what’s needed to get it. Perhaps they left the first week’s event considering it. Maybe God used that time to speak to them. Maybe they just missed the event all together! Too much work goes into these events to make it a one-shot deal. Things are already in place; give it a second chance!
Add some service elements
Do you want to add value and capture the attention of guests you hope to engage in ministry with through your volunteer series? Add some arts! This will take some planning but when you add arts in conjunction with all the other expo planning, people get it. They really do. Below is a video that my boss and good friend, Mark Waltz hosted-and an amazing producer and friend, Ben Sanders, created. Enjoy