A church is not a business, but managing a church requires many of the same skills as a typical corporation. Companies have customers; churches have congregants. And both are successful only if their customers or congregants are regulars.
This guide to church marketing will explore three tips for marketing churches. As communities turn to places of worship more than ever, it’s essential to make sure people know who you are and how you can help.
Understanding How Marketing Churches Benefits the Community
Before we explore how to market a church, let’s discuss why it is important. Churches provide a wide range of services beyond Sunday worship. Many churches provide food and shelter for people in need of daycare and early learning centers for working families.
The church is often a centerpiece in the community. People gather there for social events, public policy meetings, and health and wellness checks. Church marketing isn’t about selling something–it’s about creating awareness.
Here are some ways to increase awareness of your church.
1. Engage Your Congregants
The most effective tool in your marketing kit is the congregation itself. Not only is sharing the message of your church a tenant of the faith, but it’s also an effective marketing strategy. Word-of-mouth advertising from a church member to a neighbor or friend is a highly effective way to grow your church.
Provide your members with flyers, email templates, and social media posts they can share with friends and family. Keep church attendees informed about upcoming special events like community meals, musical concerts, and public forums. An informed congregation is like a successful sales force–they prospect potential visitors.
2. Counter Controversy
The work of the church goes beyond any one person, but sometimes the actions of a single person can negatively impact a church. In recent years, there have been highly publicized acts of impropriety in some churches that resulted in controversy and litigation. You can find more information about the legal issues this has caused.
High profile, widespread problems like these can diminish the community’s commitment to organized churches. It’s important you speak up about the good you are doing in your church to reassure people about your intentions and purpose. A positive and honest communication campaign can go a long way to restore a community’s acceptance of your good works.
3. Focus on New Visitors
If you’re wondering, “what’s the most critical aspect of marketing for my church?”– the answer is growth. Like any organization, growth is essential for success, and a growing church is a healthy church.
One of the biggest obstacles to growth is new visitors who don’t feel welcome and never return. The way you treat a first-time visitor to your church makes an important first impression.
Greet every visitor warmly and sincerely. Offer to give them directions to the worship area, and help them find a seat. If your church serves refreshments, ask them what they would like and bring it to them.
Follow-up with new visitors and ask them to continue attending your services and events. Never let a visitor feel unwelcome.
Marketing Is Not a Bad Word
Marketing and church may seem like contradictory terms, but a vibrant, growing congregation depends on marketing churches. Social and emotional health is also linked to the visibility of worship centers and their role in the community. By engaging your members, countering bad press, and focusing on building new relationships, you can effectively grow your church and make a difference.
To learn more marketing and business tips, explore the rest of our site for articles and ideas.