Do you attract a crowd? “Go into the highways and byways and compel them to come in.” from Luke 14 rings in your ears. You want to reach people. But is your church compelling to your highways and byways (your community)?
There are 3 cardinal rules to attract a crowd. Surprisingly, these foundational rules apply to any product and any audience but let’s apply them to your church audience and ministries. Why? Because it’s critical we attract a crowd so they hear about Jesus. Here are the 3 rules to be a compelling church:
- Understand your successful Church ministries. Initially, take a look at all your church’s ministries. How do you measure success? A ministry is effective if it’s wanted and/or needed by an audience. That’s usually correlates to attendance. You need an interested audience who engages with your products or services. Declining numbers can be easily blamed on the community’s lack of interest in spiritual things; or maybe, more realistically, on the disconnect of a ministry to an audience’s needs. Start concentrating on what is connecting. Consider how many are volunteering to help, if ministry funds are available, and if people want the ministry by attendance. Consider stopping what’s not working and concentrate on your success.
- Know who’s your real community. Most churches are restricted by geography (except online ministries can expand outside a region). So secondly, choose the smallest, reasonable area to engage with your ministries. With what parameters? Plot current members on a map, remove outliers, and concentrate on clustering. Encompass them with a polygon and declare that region your reasonable reach area. Because birds of a feather flock together, there are others nearby looking for similar ministries that attracted your members. Now, research your reach area to discover their demographics. Consider stereotypical needs, concerns, and goals based on their demographics. These psychographics allow you to pinpoint a group that needs what you’re offering. Do the hard work to know them. In fact, Jesus calls us to do even more: Love them! That will motivate you to give them solutions or help them reach their goals (and lead them to Jesus).
- Be present on the channels they are on. Finally, to attract a crowd to your church from your community, you need to have communication channels established. But there are many! Based on your key persona, decide where they’re spending time. Online, social media, in a car, in newspapers, on the radio or many other places! Do what you can afford to get views where they’re looking. Constantly promote social media channels to get followers. Do promotions and giveaways to get names, emails, and numbers from the community. Why? So you can have a trusted group to promote solutions that they absolutely need. This formula (connecting audience with solutions) will work. Just be simple, clear, relevant, and needed to your community. With the best, unique solutions. Crowds will follow.