The first anniversary of the church should be an exciting and memorable event. This special day will require planning and preparation well in advance. The first anniversary affords an opportunity for the entire church family to recall the goodness of God. Several events can be planned to ensure this special day is in fact a special day.
Pictures should be taken throughout the year, starting with the planning and preparation of the new church. Pictures and video from the first service will be fondly remembered, and every effort should be made to include as many people as possible; after all, everyone enjoys seeing themselves or their children in a video. (This video could be shown in the morning service or the evening service.) Every special event and service should be included since each event is a reminder of the blessings and faithfulness of God.
You can celebrate with a piece of birthday cake for everyone following the service or during a fellowship in the evening. The charter of the church could be closed with any additional believers being added on this day. The charter could then be framed and placed in a visible spot. A report of statistics could be given during the service detailing the number of salvation decisions and baptisms. Also, a handout could be given showing various ways the church has grown during its first year. This and other information should be prepared and distributed to every attendee.
In addition, a special gift of memorabilia could be presented to every person attending the service. A coffee cup with the church logo or something similar is an appropriate gift. Any special memories should be shared and testimonies given of the grace of God saving souls and changing lives. Perhaps a special speaker could be invited, or a local representative from the community could attend to commend the new church family concerning this milestone.
Set an attendance goal and work hard to reach it. A goal creates excitement, especially if it is met or surpassed. Be realistic and set an attainable goal. Another goal that can be set is to hand out a certain number of fliers or to knock on a certain number of doors. Get everyone in the church involved. The greater the involvement, the better the results will be.
Send out flyers or letters promoting the special activities of the day. Spend a lot of time visiting people reminding them of this special day and stressing how much you want them to be a part of it. The mailing should include every person from the area who has ever attended a service. You could also visit every person who has attended during the year and personally encourage them to attend.
The first anniversary should be a day of celebration and honor to the Lord. It is also an opportunity to reach new people and encourage others that may have become discouraged along the way. Remember the first anniversary will come only once, and it cannot be repeated. Take advantage of this special opportunity and make it a day to remember.