This Christmas, Mass at your parish will be packed with thousands of parishioners that you don't know. Many of which you will likely not see again until next Easter or Christmas. And maybe never again. This is a massive opportunity for parishes and, more importantly, for those parishioners.
These "C&E" parishioners (or simply infrequent visitors new and old) are still waiting for that something that inspires them to take that next step on their faith journey. Something that convinces them of the value of showing up every week and being a regular part of your community.
What are we doing to make that "something" happen? It's our responsibility, actually. And it doesn't have to be that hard or cost a lot of money.
And even if it does cost some money, we have to learn that it's worth it. Not just from a spiritual perspective, but from a financial one, too.
The average parishioner gives ~$1000 / year to their parish. So if you have 2000 extra people attending Mass this Christmas, and you can do something that inspires just 1% of them to start attending regularly, that's 20 new regulars. 20 new regulars equals $20,000 more per year for your budget. And that doesn't even count any of the other gifts they bring.
Let's be clear though, this isn't about money. It's about investing. Investing in people. Have some faith in them and they'll have some faith in you.
Have some faith in God and he'll bless you with everything you need.
That said, these things don't have to cost you very much money anyway. Here are a few ideas to help you. You can try these. Or just come up with something on your own. But do something this Christmas. We owe it to everyone who shows up (and even those who don't).
Here's a fresh idea we're doing at Flocknote. Watch this quick video:
More info on this here: flocknote.com/Lighthouse
Additionally, Lighthouse Catholic Media has some great programs to give great Catholic audio talks to every parishioner who walks through the door. Their Emmisary program is great too. It focuses on door-to-door evangelization, but the concept, materials and technique applies perfectly for Christmas Mass as well.
And of course, the Dynamic Catholic parish book program is stellar.
Anyone have any other ideas to share? What are you doing at your parish this Christmas to take advantage of this opportunity?