For example, the week following Easter we will launch a new four-week series titled “One Nation Under gods.” The first week we’re going to interview hard-core radical Muslims and address Radical Islam.
For that week we’ll go down our checklist of marketing possibilities and decide which ones we’ll use to promote the series to the friends of our people.
Our marketing checklist is one that you’d typically see in any Guerilla Marketing checklist:
- Announcements from stage
- Invite cards passed out at the end of service (we design in-house and use OvernightPrints for printing and delivery. 2,000 sharp Invite cards will cost us around $150).
- Phone calls to database (we use a mass phone-call system, but only use it two to three times a year for really special events)
- HTML emails that people can forward to their friends
- Press releases to morning talk shows, newspapers and blogs. (FYI: If you have a huge event and you want to gain regional or national attention, always use PRNewsWire to host and push your press release.)
- A special page on the website
- Step-stake signs
- Banners on the church property and in community
- Newspaper inserts
- Social media blitzes
- Facebook and Google ads
The key is to pick the right mix of promotional touches that will help your people get their friends to come.
3. Smaller Invitational Items
Undoubtedly there will be smaller things that you can do on a Sunday that can bring more people to your services.
For us the two smallest (in terms of scope and effort), but the biggest in terms of ROI, are always Child dedications and kids singing in our services.
Child Dedications – we hold these three times a year, and always on our three least attended days—Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. We do that because each time we hold a child dedication at least new 100 family members and friends come to watch it. So why not do that on low attendance days?
Kids Singing in Services – we hold these three times a year and always on days where we know we need people to show up. For instance, if we notice there’s a long break between things that we think will bring people, we’ll schedule a Kids Sing at that point. They can occur anywhere in your calendar, so why not conduct those on days when you need a boost?
4. Evangelistic Presentations
Here’s where the real strategy comes in.
The goal is not to just get a bunch of people to visit. You need to think through how you will present the gospel to these people, lead them to Christ and then propel them on to full devotion in Christ.
While we lead people to Christ every day at CCV, and don’t need a special day to prompt us to share the gospel in our services, it has proven helpful to create one specific Sunday a month where we’ll make an extra special effort to clearly communicate the gospel and call for a decision to follow Christ.
In our 2016 Church Growth Calendar you’ll see that we do that once a month, and it always includes me drawing “The Bridge” during or after a message, clearly explaining the gospel, and either jumping right into our baptistery and asking people to make a decision to follow Christ right then and there, or inviting them to fill out a “Baptism Response Card” to join us the following week at our monthly baptism service.
5. Monthly Baptism Videos
Right after I share the gospel, we’ll go into The Lord’s Supper, and during that we will show a video of the people who came to Christ over the last month and were baptized.
Our goal is to show actual live people who have taken the step recently and to inspire people to take action.