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Wow. It has been 91 days since my last post on this blog, and you know what? I still do not have any new ideas about what to write about. I have been thinking every day for the past 91 days about what to write on this blog, and I have gotten nothing, nadda, zilch. And that makes me really sad. I have enjoyed writing this blog, but maybe I just have nothing left to say on the subject.
Marketing and the church is a hard subject to discuss because there are many ways to do it wrong and there are many opinions on how much marketing is wrong. It think that church marketing is a very real subject that churches need to invest time and thought into and maybe even money.
I still believe in church marketing, but I don’t know what else to say about it.
Do you have any ideas to get me rolling? Any topics you’d like to talk about? I am, as always, open to suggestions.
In order for your church to grow, you need to be ready to grow. One way to do this is to make sure that you are visitor friendly. I recently heard that the people in a congregation will usually only invite their friends if they think their friends will be able to follow what is going on in the service.
So ask yourself, if a visitor walked into your church, would they be able to follow along? Would they understand what is happening? Try to look at your church and the services through the lens of a visitor. You must over communicate everything.
I would suggest doing it now, so you are ready for those visitors. Some people in the congregation might not understand the over communication. They might say, “Why do you have to tell us what we are doing every week? We already know what is going on.” They may know what is going on, but maybe a visitor will not.
Also, you need to have some way to connect with visitors, but also give them a way out if they are not comfortable being singled out. A good way to do this is tell them where the pastor or staff member will be to greet visitors. That gives them the choice to either go and introduce themselves or sneak out if they are uncomfortable. The goal should be to make their transition into your church comfortable and painless.
I think you’ll find that you’ll get more visitors when you are prepared for them. When you are prepared for growth to happen, that is when it is more likely to happen.
Do you think the size of the church should matter as to whether or not a church should have small groups?
Can a church be too big or too small for small groups?
It is my opinion that small groups can be incredibly powerful for any size church.
For big churches, small groups can be a great way for people to feel connected to a church and a community when that might otherwise be hard. It can be an opportunity to get on the deeper level, which is why I think it is also important for small churches. In smaller churches, they usually have bigger sunday school classes of all ages because they don’t have as many people to teach, or maybe if they split up the groups would be too small for sunday school. In smaller churches, small groups can be a good way to break up into age groups or even interest groups.
In any church small groups can be good because it gives people another chance to interact with the gospel. I currently attend a small church with attendance usually around 50-80 people. And we do not have small groups, but I wish we did. I teach the children’s sunday school class, so I miss the opportunity to be fed in a smaller setting than the sunday morning service. It would be nice to have a time to dig deeper with a smaller group, which I do not get during sunday school because I am teaching. Therefore, sunday school can give your teachers a chance to get involved with other adults.
This also leads to the question of what the size of the small groups should be, but that is a question for another time.
Do you think the church size matters when it comes to the importance of small groups?
Churches are like people.
They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and like people, it’s what is going on in the inside that matters.
The photos came from the following websites:
I just finished a book title “Contagious.” It was written by Jonah Berger and it is all about the power of word of mouth. Oftentimes word of mouth is more powerful than visual advertising. Here are some things that really stood out to me from the book.
One example Berger used to illustrate the power of word of mouth is a hot dog diner in New York. This looks like a regular diner. In the back corner there is an old-fashioned telephone booth. If you go in this booth and dial a 2 on the rotary dial phone, the back panel opens and you enter into the “Please Don’t Tell” bar. This bar has no visual advertising. You might think that they have no business, but no. They are reservation only. They open over the phone at 3:00pm for reservations, first come first served, and they are booked for the evening by 3:30pm. That’s pretty powerful word of mouth. How effective are our churches at using word of mouth? Do we focus on visual advertising too much?
Another important thing to remember: “When we care, we share.” If you want your thought or product to be contageous, it must be emtional. It must make people care. In a study that Berger did he found that “awe-inspiring article are 30% more likely to make the Most-Emailed list.” What is more awe-inspiring than the Gospel? When marketing messages, we should focus on feeling, not information. It’s like the 180 Second of Vision blog post I reblogged the other day. Instead of just standing up on Sunday mornings and giving all the information of the announcements, we should tell people why the announcement matters, make them care about it. Berger goes on to say that “activating emotion is the key to transmission.” Think of how many more visitors or people you will have attending different events if you make them care about it. Then they will be more eager to share it and bring more people.
These are just a couple of things that I drew from the book. It really was a great book to draw practical examples from of how powerful word of mouth can be.
Christians have fallen into a trap. I call it the “you can have it your way trap.” I succumb to this so often that I named it. I have this terrible instinct when it comes to churches to run when it gets messy. If I cannot have it my way, then I am out. Now, I do not often act on this instinct but I have to admit that it is there. Where does this idea come from? When did we as Christians start to think that we could have it our way? I blame Burger King.
But I have news for you…the church is not Burger King.
This is the problem with a Burger King mentality in church, we are not committed. If we do not like something that is going on, we leave the church because I suddenly think I should have it my way. The problem with the Burger King Way is that it makes us selfish, it makes church all about us. But church is not about us. It never has been. Church is all about God.
When you leave a church at the first sign on pickles on your plain cheeseburger, then you make church all about you and what makes you happy. So I’m here to say, as much as for my own benefit as your own, that the next time you get the “turn and flee” idea planted in your head, ask yourself, “How can my attitude change to make this better?” See, this way it can still be all about you, but it is now all about you changing your attitude and not changing the church. It is suddenly how can you better serve the church then how much better the church can meet your needs?
This has been on my heart and mind the past few days and it is something that I get mad at myself about often because somehow in the course of my life this “have it your way” mentality has crept into my mindset about the church. I have found myself continually tempted to “church shop (a term in itself that encourages people to shop around until they find someplace they can “have it their way”) when I am unhappy when really I should just stay where I am and try my best to make myself better. Maybe I am the problem, and if that is the case, then I am not going to be happy anywhere.
The point is, this is God’s church, not ours. We should be more concerned about fixing ourselves and our mindset than fixing the church.