5 Practical Tips For Reaching Newcomers

5 pracitcal tips

These are some notes I took during the Bill Easum Seminar at our church. He was talking about reaching new people and helping to build the systems in your church to accomplish it.  Most churches say they want to grow.  Most pastors want their church to grow.  But actually taking steps to make this possible, for whatever reason, seems difficult.  I like the way Easum makes it seem simple.  Listed below are some of his quotes and ideas broken down into five areas.

 

WEBSITE

Need to do marketing with your website.

Website should clearly display service times and address on the front page.

Website needs stuff for visitors (I’m new here area)

Church websites should help newcomers answer these questions: Will I fit in?  What should I wear? Are there people like me?

The website is the most important marketing tool you have.  Invest money here if you don’t have someone with skills to do it.

Social media is a good complement, but it won’t grow your church.

Websites should include pictures of people connecting and happy.  Pictures of buildings impress members of the church, but don’t inspire new people.

If the pastor can blog, it’s a great addition to the website.

Most visitors who come to your church out of the blue have already checked your website.

Even with the website, the best marketing is word of mouth. Your church members also rely on the website to be visitor friendly.

 

HOSPITALITY & CONNECTION

Number one reason people don’t come back is poor hospitality.

Need greeters stationed outside for all events.  People don’t read signs anyway.

Poor connecting is the reason the revolving door spins out of control.

The church exists for those who are not yet in it.

The greeter is vital for worship and connection.

To ease newcomer apprehension there must be a greeter outside the doors of the church.

Don’t pretend to remember someone. Smile and say, tell me your name.

Great phrases: “Can I show you around?”  “Can I get you a cup of coffee?”

Every one in the church ought to be part of some place where everyone knows their name.

Remind your people to be the friendliest church in town.

Too often, a church thinks they are friendly because they are all talking to each other, but the newcomer is left out of the circle.

Teach your people to engage with those who look disengaged.

Watch out for strange church words:  narthex, chancel, sanctuary, etc.

Don’t presume you’re the friendliest church in town – test it.  Hire a secret shopper or invite an anonymous friend to show up to your church and document their perception.

 

LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION

Don’t use the word change, use the word enhance.

Highlight and celebrate all the little victories you can.

Don’t change existing programs / services, add something.

No one gets anything until the 7th time it’s said or read.

Don’t ask, “What do you do for living?”  Instead ask, “What keeps you busy during the week?”

Say, “I don’t believe we have met.”

Language of the leader is important.  What you talk about being important will become important.

The leader must speak about the purpose of the church members doing the work.

The pastor of churches under 450, is the up front person and face to the community.  Your connections matter.

 

LEADERSHIP

Leaders should be multiplying.

Insist on staff and leaders who lead.

Mentor and train others to do ministry – that’s how you grow in time management.

Pastor should spent a bulk of time with key leaders.

Pastors should mentor and coach church staff.

Conflict is not unusual when you are truly leading.

If you want the church to grow, there will be less and less one on one with church members.

Values of the church when it comes to preference issues:  Kingdom first, Church second, Individuals third. If individuals have an issue, convert them, evangelize them or show them the door.

Hold leaders accountable.

At every growth barrier, the leadership skills of the pastor must change.

Poor follow up is the reason most churches don’t grow.

 

GROWTH

The reason the average church stops growing at 150-200 is because the pastor turns his attention to the congregation instead of the unchurched.

If a church has been plateaued more than three years, it’s statistically very unlikely it will turn around unless drastic steps are taken. What step is that for you?

The average dying church has too much support staff and not enough program staff.

Raise the visibility of your church in the community.

A pastor must say to staff they are responsible for bringing in new people to the church.

Easiest way to grow a church is to start a new service.

To grow the church, the minister is always in scouting mode.

Jesus didn’t call Christians, He called disciples.

Jesus’ target wasn’t for those already in the church, but for those who were lost and broken.

 

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