Your church faces an ongoing challenge: how to continually encourage guests to visit you, especially those who have no prior exposure to church? Without guests, your church will not grow. Between work and children’s activities, families are busier and it seems harder to get people’s attention. A few churches can generate guests with little effort (mostly due to location or size), but for most of us, it requires a more strategic approach. This approach generally includes advertising. Here are ten guiding principles for an outreach strategy, adapted from a workbook co-written with Eric Ramsey, to consider as you get started.
Awareness Strategy for Advertising: 10 Helps
1. Advertising does not replace evangelism
But it can increase the effectiveness of evangelism. Many churches have chosen marketing as their outreach strategy. This shifts responsibility for the Great Commission from the mouths of your people to the mails of your church. Instead, marketing should energize both businesses and personal evangelism.
2. Evangelism is about relationships
The best evangelism happens when people are on a journey with Christians in a local church. Awareness advertising helps connect more people with the Church so they can hear the affirmations of Christ in the context of believers living out their faith.
3. Self-interested nonbelievers are not offended by raising awareness through marketing
That is, if it is honest, authentic and excellent. It is those who are interested who are most successful in raising awareness, not those who are hostile.
4. Local advertising takes into account the needs felt by people.
However, to be biblically appropriate, it must lead them to their real and deepest needs.
5. Awareness advertising itself does not need to present the plan of salvation
to help bring people to faith in Christ. However, your outreach strategy must ultimately include a presentation of the gospel and incorporation into a local church.