Sometimes, it’s a simple idea that sparks church growth. Here are fifteen quick ideas you could try in your church.
#1 – Post a picture of the Volunteer of the Week on Social Media.
Use social media to shower appreciation on volunteers. Take a picture of someone serving on Sunday and post during the week. Write something personal and specific and recognize their service to the church.
#2 – Create new and specific places for people to serve.
One of the best ways to involve brand new volunteers in the ministry is to create brand new opportunities for people to serve. New positions often attract new people. When you create a new and specific way to serve, someone might think, “I was made to do that.” The more specific you make the role, the more likely you are to fill it.
#3 – Try webinars for training volunteers. Volunteer meetings are tough. You’ve got to plan them, promote them, and run them. And despite your best efforts, there are always people who can’t attend.
So instead of asking everyone to leave their home, why not take the training to them? Tools like Blab, Google Hangouts or Facebook Live Video make it easy to deliver live video content to your people. As a bonus, you can record the training ad make it available to everyone on-demand or send it to new volunteers.
#4 – Encourage small groups to serve together.
There’s nothing like serving together that helps a group connect with each other. Whether it’s men’s groups, couples groups or entire families, serving together is a great way for a group to get to know each other and for the church to get involved in the community. You don’t have to manage all of the details – just provide a little leadership and inspiration and let your group leaders lead.
#5 – Celebrate communion with your small group or Sunday School class.
This might not work in every church, but what if you equipped your group leaders to celebrate communion with their group? Help the leaders unpack the meaning and then walk through the experience together. It could make for a very special group experience.
#6 – Create a Bible reading plan for your church.
The Bible can be intimidating or confusing to new Christians. Encourage your congregation to read the Bible by creating a reading plan that’s unique to your church.
It could be a 7-day quick start guide, a 30-day reading plan, or even a one-year guide. Make it available online, send it as a weekly email, or print copies for your welcome center or worship guide.
#7 – Give a gift to children who visit for the first time.
Children love getting gifts. So create a gift bag for kids who visit for the first time. Fill it with the kind of goodies kids get at a birthday party. Give it out as they leave and you’ll make a lasting impression.
#8 – Serve at community events.
Instead of creating your own events from the ground up, absorbing all of the costs and providing all of the volunteers, consider helping an existing event and making it better. Maybe there’s a school that does a Thanksgiving event. Show up with candy, supplies and a bunch of volunteers. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce hosts a 5k or the Parks and Rec Department organizes a firework show. Ask how you can help make it better.
#9 – Shoe Polish Sunday
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to share the news and invite people, try shoe polish. As people are leaving, have a few people available to write messages on the windows of cars. Messages might say “I love Cross Church” or “Happy Birthday Cross Church.” It’s a simple way for people to share their excitement about church and build awareness in the community.
#10 – Offer guests a gift when they visit.
If you want more guests to fill out that communication card, or if you want to provide a place for guests to have a personal conversation with someone, offer them a gift. Encourage people to go to a designated place to pick up their “no-strings-attached” free gift and make sure it’s staffed by a friendly volunteer.
#11 – Invite a volunteer to talk about why they give.
One of the most effective ways to set up the offering time and inspire people to give generously is to ask a volunteer to share a short testimony about whey they give to the church. Testimonies like this don’t have to be polished, and they don’t even need an amazing ending. But they are authentic, and people can relate to them.
#12 – Tell people where the money goes.
One Sunday, right before the offering in the church service, hold up a dollar bill. Tell people you’re about to receive the offering and a lot of people are going to give these.
Then say something like this: “Before you give today, I just want you to know what we’re going to do with it. I want you to know where the money goes.”
Tell people what part of that dollar goes to the facilities, what part goes to the amazing staff, what part goes to cover the cost of ministry, and how much your church will actually give away. When you’re upfront with where the money goes, you build confidence and trust with the congregation.
#13 – Get feedback on your sermon…before you preach it.
Getting feedback after your sermon is extremely valuable. But what if you got feedback in advance? On Thursday or Friday, email your outline or your message notes to a handful of people in your church and ask for feedback. Ask for stories or illustrations to make the main idea hit home. Ask if it applies to what people’s everyday struggles. Check to make sure the main idea is clear.
#14 – Bring in someone to speak to your staff.
Going to a conference with your team is a great opportunity to grow, but you can also bring a conference to your team. Invite a guest speaker from another church, a leader from the marketplace, or an expert in a particular subject to speak to your staff. This can be a cost effective way to provide training and help everyone get better.
A local restaurant owner can talk about how they create welcoming environments for guests. A teacher can talk about what kids really need to learn. A consultant can help you improve productivity or decision making in ministry.
#15 – Make a donation on your own church website.
Do you know what it’s like to make a donation on your church website? Open up a new browser window and make a donation. See how long it takes. Read what’s on the thank you page. Check out the confirmation email. Then look for ways to make the process better.
So What's Next?
Feel like your church should be growing, but it's not?
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