Invitations – Best Practices

Report
CRHP Invitations Ministry
Church of the Ascension
CRHP Focus Group
July 14, 2014
Version 3.0
Steve Ehart
CRHP Invitations Ministry Co-Chair
Church of the Ascension
(913) 205-6701
Focus Group Details
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5 men and 4 women
Discerned as invitations coordinators
Each from different teams
Most recent invitation coordinators
selected for participation
Duration: 1 hour
The Invitees You Need to Get!
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You Will Need 15-30 Men Invitees
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24 Considered Ideal for the Best Experience
Experience has shown 3-4 Men Invitees will
be “no shows”
You Will Need 20-38 Women Invitees
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25 Considered Ideal for the best experience
Experience has shown 1-2 women will be
“no shows”
Results/Consensus Conclusions
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Things we need to do more of:
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Use a personal touch when inviting attendees
Assign specific invitation goals to individuals
Get referrals from other groups within the parish
Consult and get help from spouses who have attended
Continue with pulpit talks—multiple styles & approaches
Mix demographics and match to invitees
Get endorsement and help from our priest
Let invitees feel it was their idea to attend
Consider involving other CRHP teams to assist
Results/Consensus Conclusions
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Reduce or Discontinue these things:
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Don’t e-mail invitees from a distribution list
Don’t hound invitees
Don’t over assign invitation goals—”many hands
make light the work!”
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Don’t over explain the weekend to invitees
Don’t say, “you need to do CRHP!”
Reduce the emphasis on persuading and accent
the informing aspect of the weekend benefits
Results/Consensus Conclusions
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Good Sources of Leads:
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New Parishioner lists (esp. 1-3 year in parish)
RCIA
Welcoming Ministry
Re-engaging Catholics Ministry
Mothers of Young Children
Knights of Columbus
School Families
Newly Baptized
Results/Consensus Conclusions
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Key Reasons for Invitees to Attend:
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Become Involved in the Parish
Get a spiritual booster—grow in my faith
To meet and get to know new people
Feel called by God or through prayer
Secondary Level Reasons for Invitees to Attend:
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Spousal pressure
Experiencing Personal challenges that requires a change
To “check the box” that they attended
To share their faith and spiritual journey experiences
Results/Consensus Conclusions
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Key Reasons for Invitees NOT to Attend:
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“I’m not a retreat person”
“I’m not religious enough”
Don’t want to stay overnight in the church
Feelings of inadequacy about Christian knowledge or
teachings
“It takes too much time”
“I’m too busy”
“I need my weekends for family time”
“Six months is too long!”
CRHP Messaging
MEN
Focus on opportunity to
become better
Catholic men,
husbands, fathers
Offer the opportunity to
meet and know other
men like you and to
build a network
Explain the sense of
brotherhood
Emphasize the retreat is
for all levels of faith
WOMEN
Focus on the weekend as
a spiritual booster
shot.
Explain that you meet
others like yourself
and build meaningful
new relationships
while you grow in
your faith
Emphasize the retreat is
for all levels of faith
Key Insights
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Get your priest’s endorsement
Create awareness and interest through parish
communication opportunities
Use existing parish groups for likely leads
Consider doing a “pre-approach” with spouses who
have attended CRHP to determine best approach
Match the message to men—and women!
Match the demographics of the invitee
Use other CRHP groups to assist as needed
Consider creating a mens’ and womens’ brochure as
a leave-behind

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