You have an important mission, a big vision, and some committed people. But you want to reach more and more people with the life-changing message of Jesus. You want more people to come to church.
Here are seven ways to make that happen.
#1 – Equip Your People to Invite
Pastors often do a great job encouraging their people to invite their friends, neighbors, and co-workers. But encouragement and equipping are two different things.
People don’t just need encouragement to invite, they need the tools. You need to do more than ask them to bring people to church, you need to give them resources that make it easy to follow through. Some ways you can do this are to:
- Print invite cards and place them at the doors.
- Write a Facebook post and send it to people with specific directions on when to post.
- Create sharable graphics for people to use on social media.
If you want people to do something, you've got to make it easy. Be sure you're giving people the tools for the job, not just asking them to do the work.
#2 – Promote Posts on Facebook
Facebook isn’t just for sharing pictures of your kids or your cat. It’s one of the world’s largest platforms.
Your church should have a Facebook page. And you should post interesting, helpful content to it on a regular basis. Not just announcements about your church, but helpful stuff.
You should also try paid advertising. You can promote a post about an upcoming parenting series to parents in your community. You can display an ad for your student ministry retreat to parents of teenagers. You can boost content that’s likely to be share by others.
Facebook is a powerful advertising platform.
- You can target posts based on interests and demographics.
- You can upload your own mailing list and run ads just for those people.
- You can display ads just to people who have visited a specific page on your website
- You can run a targeted ad to people within 3 miles of your church and invite them to plan a visit or come to a special event.
Facebook is one of the biggest opportunities churches have to reach people online. Learn it and use it.
#3 – Focus on a Big Day
Instead of asking your people to invite all the time, focus all of your energy on a big day. You can call it Friend Day if you must, but you get the idea.
Pull out all the stops, just like you would for Easter, on a Sunday that’s not Easter. Make the day a little more special. Create some special videos or creative elements. And do it up right.
Lead up to it with a series on the mission of the church and challenge your church to bring people on a specific Sunday. Make sure they know what’s coming. Then follow up your big day with a series on spiritual growth or next steps.
When you do a big day, you get people out of their normal routine. Let them know there’s something special happening and it will provide an extra incentive to invite.
If you are a Church Fuel member, we've got lots of training on how to plan and execute your big day.
#4 – Pray for People by Name
Church Growth isn't about tactics and campaigns. Those things are important, but they are not all-important. Or even most-important. After all, a church is a spiritual enterprise.
If you want to reach people in your community and invite them to church, start praying for them by name. Find a way to collect names and find creative ways to pray for people. We've seen churches invite members to write names of their friends on the wall of the church. We've seen churches find creative ways to keep people in their prayers.
Remember, church growth is not just a strategy thing, it's a spiritual thing. Never forget that it's about Jesus and people, and helping people meet Jesus.
#5 – Connect Sunday Attendance to Social Media
Most pastors want to extend their ministry beyond Sunday and into the week. But very few churches devote time in their Sunday service to helping people engage on social media, which is one of the very things that can take the church outside of the four walls.
During your welcome segment, why not ask people to take out their phones and tweet something or post something to their timeline. Ask them to share a picture or put some text up on the screen. Maybe you’ve already got a time for shaking hands – why not expand that in a huge way?
Look for other ways to encourage those in the room to share with those who are not in the room.
#6 – Be Visible in the Community
Most people in your community don’t know about your church. You’re out of sight and out of mind so attending isn’t even on their radar.
But when you get involved in the community, people will take notice. Now, this isn’t going to bring a bunch of guests next week, but when you connect to your community, you begin to build trust over time. Not only is it just the right thing to do, it’s got long-term results.
Show up at community events. Join the Chamber of Commerce. Subscribe to community newsletters and promote community events. Open your building to school groups. Put out a community calendar.
#7 – Advertise
Some pastors wonder why their church isn’t growing. They have good church services, good programs and ministries and a really important mission. So they come to us and ask for help creating a growth strategy.
And while there’s more to it, your advertising strategy might be a good place to start. If you want to reach more people, spend more money on advertising.
Some pastors think advertising isn’t a spiritual concept. But advertising and marketing are neither good nor bad. They are simply tools that can be used for just about anything.
Chances are, you’ve got people in your church who are good with advertising, promotion, social media or marketing? These are valuable skills that could be put to great use. And if you don’t have people in your church with these skills, learn them. Take it upon yourself to learn best-practices.
Reorient some of your budget towards growth opportunities. Invest in growth and reaching people.
Feel like your church should be growing, but it's not? From someone who used to be a pastor and church planter, I know it can be frustrating.
Ultimately, church growth is up to God. But what else can you do as a steward to reach more people?
We know you care deeply about leading a healthy growing church because it means leading more people to Jesus. That's why we created a free guide to reaching more people that will bring clarity and inspiration.
Get your FREE copy of the Senior Pastor's Guide to Reaching More People today by entering your name and email below.