I came across an interesting post about setting expectations from marketing guru Seth Godin. Reading the story in the article, I know the point (the lesson) applies to churches as well.
I just remember the time my last church did a great Harvest Festival. We invited people who lived in the neighborhood close to the church. It was such a great "alternative" to trick-or-treating that people (from the neighborhood) actually went back to their neighbors and brought them. We heard comments like, "I've lived here for XX years and I've never been invited to your church."
Unfortunately, we didn't follow through. Because we didn't see a considerable increase in worship the next Sunday, the Harvest Festival was deemed a flop. But my thoughts go back to those that were "introduced" to our church. All of a sudden, we were "on their radar."
We did not have the same scale of event the next year. I can only think what our "neighbors" thought after that. We raised their expectations, but then we didn't follow through. They must have thought it was a fluke. It was.
Anyway, you can find the story here.