The best definition of church marketing is this: “Make Friends.” According to Bill Easum, nothing grows a church faster than members who can’t help but invite Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbors, Co-Workers, and Everyone else!
When the church is involved in the lives of people, caring for the community and doing everything in it’s power to love and bless the community, the name of Christ will be lifted up. Christians ought to constantly be seeking ways for their lives to cross paths of those who need to experience the Gospel.
In what ways is your church accomplishing this?
All marketing works together in the church – sometimes for it, sometimes against it. From the basics, such as the website and publications to the more strategic specialized marketing for events and ministries, it’s very important for the church to not only market, but to become comfortable with it! Marketing is the process of promoting, distributing and otherwise letting people know of what you have to offer. The church, of all places, should be in the business of marketing!
Ten percent of your church budget should be spend on marketing. Part of this is to reach out to those who don’t even know the church is there. Another big part of marketing is to help your people stay on fire for inviting and pursing people. Your ten percent mark may be closer than you think when you tally up all the expense of website, paid ads, printing, mailing and time invested on behalf of those who serve on paid staff.
But, above all else, nothing grows a church like a bunch of people who are on fire! Your single best marketing asset if your people! Encourage them. Offer the best worship service(s) you can offer and then teach your people the power of invitation with this simple phrase, “make friends!” It’s a virtually free way to reach people. Build a culture of a church who is out in the community making connections!
Here are four tips for making friends…
1) Get Around People
Don’t shy away, get connected, strike up conversation, be where people are in your context. Maybe it’s with other parents during practice or maybe other retirees down at McDonalds in the mornings. Develop friendships right where you are – in your normal paths of life.
2) Be Interested In People
Be genuinely interested in people by asking questions, digging deeper, and listening well. Find out their stories. Connect with them on common interests. People love to talk about themselves.
3) Offer Help To People
Do you see someone you know in need? Offer to help. When you do, you are able to build a bridge of friendship.
4) Learn Their Names
Do you know the names of your closest neighbors? Have you introduced yourself. After small talk during a kid’s ball game or a person with whom you are sitting at a community event, make sure to get their name. You may see them again! Exchanging names is a foundational part of friendship.
Enjoy life! Enjoy your church. Enjoy being connected to others – whether you are an introvert or an extrovert! Make friends. It truly is a mark of disciples – loving others!
It’s natural for friends to connect with their lives – which is why the church begins to grow!