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Video: Rick Warren On Preserving the Fruit of Easter

Churches around the world experience a surge in attendance on Easter Sunday, especially when they’ve prepared well and spread the word effectively. But how should churches follow up? How do we preserve the fruit of Easter Sunday and assimilate people into our congregations effectively?

They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Acts 14:21-22 NIV

Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.
Acts 15:32-35 NIV

(Paul) went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Acts 15:41 NIV

After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
Acts 18:23 NIV

Here are some ideas about following up with your first-time guests…

Contact People Within 48 Hours

Make phone calls, send letters and emails, and involve volunteers in the process. And when you write, write in personal language, not business language. And at the bottom of every letter, sign only your first name. Make it as personal and informal as possible.

Get Them Into a Group

When Kay and I were first starting Saddleback, we used to gather new guests into our living room once a month for a “pastor’s chat.” Out of that kind of a meeting, you can form new small groups.

Give Them a Responsibility

People need to feel that they belong even before they believe. And often, they take their next steps because they are serving alongside other believers.

Develop a Caring Congregation

Developing a caring congregation starts with the Pastor. The Pastor must genuinely care about people and show it. The Pastor sets the tone. Many Pastors, by their very demeanor, discourage people from returning. It’s vital that the Pastor is approachable and real.

Following up effectively is part of fulfilling the Great Commission, and it’s vital that we do it as well as possible for the kingdom’s sake.

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