We made a paradigm shifting decision this year that I think will shape how we market our church to the community in the future. We decided that the best way to invite people to our Easter services was to do an event that did not benefit us at all. Our Baskets Of Hope outreach was 100% designed to help homeless families in our community get back on their feet. We did not receive a single penny. Our fliers about the event did not mention our Easter services or even our normal service times. We had a chance to do a big flashy event that would have gotten a lot of attention, but I am very happy that we did not do it.
I am NOT saying that churches that go that route are wrong. We have done plenty of that in the history of Seacoast. My brother Geoff has a great post about how we need all kinds of strategies in the church world. I just think, for me personally, it's time to go a different direction.
We did get tools into the hands of our people to help them invite their friends and neighbors - personal invites, t-shirts, car decals...but our event was geared to simply love people like Jesus in our community. The one piece of marketing that we did do this year was a direct mailer. I think this will probably the last time we will ever do that. We received 5 mailers from churches this year! I have a hard time imagining anyone looking at those anymore.
Next year, we will do it again. We will love our community like Jesus. I think that is the reason to have a church. Don't you?