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By Gresham Hill, President – I’ve been helping churches put on effective outreaches since 1999. In that time, lots has changed. It used to be that the events needed to be free or the turnout would be bad. But the world has changed. Today, free events are often assumed by our culture to be “bad” events. Free events very often have lower turnouts than ticketed events. I believe this could be due to a lack of effort on the members of the church to personally invite and hand a non-member a ticket (assuming they don’t have to since it is a free event).  What I’ve learned in recent years is that probably the best way to invite someone who is not a Believer to an outreach event is to give them a ticket to something with real “face value.”

Four Issues To Tackle Before You Run a Ticketed Outreach Event

First off, if your church refuses to run a ticketed outreach event but at the same time, has no budget to host a quality, free event, then I would challenge them on this.  Find a way to bring in your community to your church at least four times a year through a special event.

Second, if your issue is not knowing how to sell tickets to an outreach event.  Please give us a call. We are happy to do all of the legwork to set up your online ticketing for you.  Your main job is to “excite the Saints.”  In other words, get your congregation excited about inviting their friends to the event. If you’d rather do it yourself, we love Eventbrite.com.

Third, don’t charge your guests.  Yes, ask your members to pay for their ticket.  But freely give them special evangelism tickets that they are to give away!  Ask them to personally invite people and to follow up with them a few days before the show.  The fact that they’ve excepted a ticket with real face value and received a personal invite from someone greatly increases their likelihood of attending.

Fourth, running ticketed outreach events can enable you to raise the quality of your outreaches over time. Free events are notoriously bad due to low budget.  Churches often skimp on production, speakers, or artists because finances are limited.  If you host an annual ticketed event and do an outstanding job each year, your attendance will grow and your budget will improve. 

Check out some of our favorite people for outreach events at ReachYourCity.com/Roster. Many of them can actually be your entire event!