Having strong relationships within your community aids with your outreach efforts. But how do you start these relationships and maintain them? A key component is understanding your community and its needs. A great place to start is by looking within your own church community.
Many churches make large investments in time and dollars trying to bring new people into their church. But if the people you’re reaching don’t feel like they fit in, they won’t stick around. Don’t let your outreach efforts go to waste. Determine who you are serving. What is the demographic profile of your attendees? Where do they live? How far are they traveling? What is their socioeconomic status? What draws them to your church? With this information, you can make informed decisions about your outreach efforts. And you can offer programs that you know meet the needs of your community.
You’ve done your homework and know where to focus your outreach efforts. Now what? An easy place to start is with your social media efforts. Don’t just jump into Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, X, etc. all at once. Because not all social platforms are equal based on the information you’ve gathered. Their social media platform preferences vary by age, gender, education, and interest. Sproutsocial released 2023 usage information by social platform. Review this to determine where you should focus your efforts initially.
Before starting your social media campaigns, be prepared. Evaluate all points of contact someone may have with your church, especially your website. Make sure it’s friendly and inclusive. Are the service times and events current? Look for broken links, accurate contact info, etc. Add pictures that represent who you are. There is no better way to turn off visitors than to have an outdated site. Why not add a tab on your site specifically for “new visitors.” Provide relevant info – links to your online service (and recordings), local and online programs, nursery details, small group info, security plans, and a facilities map.
It’s helpful to have outreach activities and other fresh content to promote on your social media. Here are some ideas:
- Offer a parent’s night out every month.
- Have a back-to-school event and give out needed supplies.
- Sponsor a golf tournament, running race, or community clean-up event.
- Offer a monthly meal for local college students.
- Hold a Trunk-or-Treat event, family movie night, or community yard sale.
- Offer space for a community garden.
- Promote blood drives or be a drop point for disaster relief collections.
- And remember, regularly encourage your congregants to invite friends or new neighbors.
If you have a large online following, offer digital events, too.
- Financial wellness classes
- Prayer groups and Bible study
- Social groups, fitness classes, and mixers
- Virtual family trivia, dinner parties, coffee breaks
- Storytime for kids
- Even an online VBS
Be sure to offer events for everyone – singles, families, young adults, seniors. Every activity and event should have a way to collect contact information when appropriate. Let them know you want to Invite them back for other events. Being able to communicate with visitors is essential. Let them know how you’ll use this info and that it’s never shared.
Outreach should be an ongoing focus for your church. Once someone visits or joins your church, the connection shouldn’t stop. Keeping congregants is easier than attracting new ones. So get members involved! Have them share their passions and sign them up to volunteer, sign them up for a small group, and encourage participation in your church programs and activities. It’s all part of developing your community and ensuring growth.
ACS Technologies has the solutions and expertise to help you with your outreach efforts. You don’t have to do this alone or waste time trying to figure it out.
ACS Technologies sets a new standard in church technology, offering a holistic suite of solutions that streamline administrative tasks and empower your staff to excel in their roles and your church to excel in your community.
In the ever-evolving landscape of church engagement and management, ACS Technologies rises above the rest. Our comprehensive church solutions, bespoke digital offerings, streamlined communication tools, comprehensive ministry consulting, and training make us the trusted choice for over fifty thousand churches. Experience the ACS Technologies advantage and elevate your church’s online presence, connectivity, and generosity today. Join us in redefining church technology for the digital age, where your ministry’s success becomes our shared mission.