What To Put On Your Church Sign

October 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: General 

It seems that the popular thing to do at the moment with the sign at your church is to have a funny church sign. While this could be entertaining, is that the message that you want people to remember as they pass your church doing 60kph?

What you put on your outdoor church sign should tell them where to find you, when to be there, what they can learn, what is offered and make it easier for people to find out more about you.

The key information you should put on your church sign is:

  • Church Name
  • Service Times
  • Current Sermon Series Title
  • Church Website Address

Some other things that could be important for people who are looking at your church to know, that you might want to put on your sign, are:

  • Service Languages if multiple are offered
  • If Nursery School or Sunday School is offered

The idea behind your church sign is to help people connect with your church and get them in the door…

photo from au_tiger01

Church Growth Checklist for Pastors

May 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Invite Other People

Your congregation needs to be inviting people to church. The more people who get invited to church, the greater the chance that someone will say yes…

  1. Facilities
    Are your facilities clean and in good repair?
  2. Is your church Welcoming
    How does it feel for people visiting your church for the first time?
  3. Music
    Does it honour God and is it done with excellence?
  4. Pace of the Service
    Is the pace of your service done in a way that flows smoothly and doesn’t get tied up with extraneous “stuff”?
  5. The Message
    Is it biblical and done with purpose and getting to the point?
  6. Call to Action
    Do you have a call to action that brings people to a point of decision?
  7. Are People Encouraged
    Do people leave the service encouraged, or are they discouraged and feeling beaten down?

Help Prospective Mothers in Papua New Guinea

May 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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The Mommyhood Memos Bloggers for Birth KitsSometimes it’s amazing how much you can help, through something so little…

In rural Papua New Guinea one in seven women die in childbirth! Yep, that’s right, 1 in 7 women die in childbirth! That’s a shocking statistic to say the least. To give birth to a child a mother has a 15% chance of dying, can you imagine?

A friend of mine, Adriel Booker, in Australia works with YWAM Ships, a ministry that is currently working on delivering medical help into Papua New Guinea. She is a Mom, blogger and fellow YWAMer who has a strong passion for helping other mothers in need. To help expectant mothers in Papua New Guinea she has started a program called Bloggers for Birth Kits to help reduce maternal mortality in rural Papua New Guinea.

The way to help is so simple that anyone can do it…

For as little as a $2.00 donation you can purchase a Birth Kit. The Birth Kit is very simple, but according to the Birthing Kit Foundation can greatly help to reduce the incidence of infant and maternal mortality and morbidity. The kit includes:

  • 1 plastic sheet to provide a clean birthing surface
  • 1 bar of soap for clean hands during the birthing process and to clean the umbilical stump
  • 1 pair of plastic gloves for clean hands
  • 1 sterile scalpel blade to cut the umbilical cord
  • 3 cords / pieces of strong string to tie the umbilical chord
  • 5 gauze squares to clean the baby and mother

The kit is simple, yet effective. Adriel made up her own (which you can watch on the video at the bottom of this post), but I think the most effective way for us to help is to donate.

If you do want to help with this great project, and for only $2.00 who wouldn’t want to help, you can read more about it at Bloggers for Birth Kits.

This post was originally posted on my personal blog at Help Prospective Mothers in Papua New Guinea – Bill Hutchison

Church Growth – Does Children’s Ministry Enter Into the Equation?

May 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Church growth is a sign of a healthy well-balanced church. A big portion of a church’s budget can be easily spent on trying to reach those in the local community with the Good News of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

I will never forget the time, years ago, when I was looking for a new church home for my young and growing family. During the process, I visited quite a few churches in the community. One Sunday I visited a church that initially looked wonderful. The church had a nice cheerful sign out front, modest landscaping and a facility that appeared to be well maintained. I attended the service and really enjoyed the sermon. The people were friendly; I thought I might have found the church I was looking for.

After the service, I asked if I could see the children’s ministry area. My hosts obliged and took me down a flight of stairs into the basement. My feelings quickly changed, as I saw that the children’s area was in total disrepair and clearly not a priority of the church. I thanked my hosts and left, never to return.

Many aspects enter into the mix as church leaders plan on how best to meet the spiritual needs of those in the community. Sadly, there are times when one of the most important areas of the church are over looked, that area being the children’s ministry departments.

Young families want to know that their children are well taken care of and that their kids are being taught in a fun and educational manner. If parents are worried about their children, they will not enjoy the services or get plugged into classes of their own. Is that to say that the children’s area has to be a dream palace or a miniature theme park? No of course not, but the kids area of the church is very important, maybe more important than the adult sections of the church. Parents may overlook imperfections in their own facilities but the standard is definitely raised when it comes to the areas in which their children will be taught.

Considerable thought should be given to the design and upkeep of the children’s facilities. The children’s areas of the church should be clean and inviting. The walls should be painted in child friendly colours and decorated with murals, banners, posters and other assorted artwork. The artwork should grab the children’s attention and draw them into the wonderful world of Sunday school.

The teachers should care about children and teach in fun and creative ways. Teachers should use every tool at their disposal to make their lessons meaningful and invite the children to explore all the wonders that God has to offer. Children’s Sunday school should be a fun and exciting place to visit.

Maps of the various children’s classrooms and children’s worship centre should be predominantly displayed within the entrances into the children’s area. This allows parents to locate the area in which their children belong and reassures the children that they will not be lost in the shuffle.

Matthew 6:21 states "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Today’s families treasure their children.

About the Author:
Mike-CovellMike Covell writes Sunday school curriculum for Kids’ Sunday School Place.
For more information on exciting new children’s ministry ideas please visit http://www.kidssundayschool.com – Make it count, make it fun!

(c) Copyright – Kid’s Sunday School Place, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Church Growth, God’s Way

April 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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By Pastor Ed Taylor from Calvary Chapel Aurora

How God built his Church in the book of Acts…

In this video Pastor Ed Taylor talks about how the Church was built and how it grew in the book of Acts. They did it without technology, without planning meetings and without a master plan. Instead, there was a focus on the people of the Church being who God wanted them to be, and walking in obedience to God’s Word and leading.

Pastor Ed talks about the potential destructive nature of the “Church Growth Movement” and encourages pastors to focus on the seats that are filled, not the seats that are empty. If the pastor pours into the people that God has brought into the pastor’s church it will attract others to the church…

You can watch more of Pastor Ed Taylor at the Calvary Chapel Aurora YouTube Channel, and read more on the church’s website, http://calvaryaurora.org/.

Does Your Church Serve Good Coffee?

November 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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Recently our church started to serve good coffee for free after the worship service. I’m sure that a lot of that has to do with the fact that our Senior Pastor is a bit of a coffee connoisseur. But it has some other benefits too.

By serving good coffee after the service it has some other benefits as well:

  1. It takes time to drink a good, hot cup of coffee. That causes people to stick around after the service and it brings about a sense of community. It usually adds at least 10 – 15 minutes more time for me at the church after the service finishes if I grab myself a nice cup of coffee.
  2. It creates an instant talking point for people new to the church or thinking about coming to the church.
  3. It causes members of the congregation to mingle with people who they might not always talk with. This can be while in line for coffee, or just because there is more time to do so.

All that to say that something as small and as simple as serving good coffee after your worship service can go a long way to building community, growing your church congregation and giving people another reason to want to join you on a Sunday morning.

What are you doing to encourage community in your church?

The Ten Minute After Church Rule

September 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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One of the biggest challenges for people trying to find a new church is connecting with the people at the church. We heard this rule from our Pastor at church this last Sunday to help people who are new at your church connect with the people there:

“Ten Minutes after church your friends will still be here. Take those ten-minutes to meet and get to know someone new or someone you have not spoken to before.”

I thought that this was a terrific rule for people of your church congregation to follow after the church service. This will help to make your church much more “seeker” friendly, and feel a lot less “cliquey” to people who are new to your church. It’s hard to feel welcome at a new church if everyone is talking with someone else and no one talks to you or gives you the time of day.

The ten minute rule can also help your congregation get to know other members of the church, rather than the same group that they always gravitate towards. This can be great in developing church unity and a greater sense of church family. People will have a much greater desire to stay a part of your church if they have that feeling of unity and family.

When looking at overall church growth we need to not only look at new people coming in, but also look at retention of current church members. The ten-minute rule can help both of these areas by providing a more inviting and friendly atmosphere for both the new and the old people at your next church service.

Avoid Trademark and Copyright Issues Choosing Your Church Name

September 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Don’t Be Naive Choosing Your Church Name

A recent lawsuit involving the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) and the International House Of Prayer (IHOP) reminds us that we need to be aware of trademarks and copyrights when we are choosing a name for our church.

The International House of Pancakes filed law-suit against the International House of Prayer  because they claim the church group selected and adopted the International House of Prayer name, knowing it would be abbreviated IHOP. IHOP-KC intended to misappropriate the fame and notoriety of the household name IHOP to help promote and make recognizable their religious organization".

International House of Pancakes is wanting the International House of Prayer to look at rebranding their name to avoid confusion. The International House of Pancakes has been around for about 50 years, and has used the trademarked name IHOP for the last 30 years. The International House of Prayer has been around since 1999.

Although Prayer and Pancakes are not often confused, you can get food at both locations, and IHOP the pancake place has a responsibility to defend their trademark if they believe it is being violated. If they do not defend their trademark then they loose it.

Whether we agree with the lawsuit or not is besides the point. When choosing a name for a church or ministry we need to be aware of trademark and copyright issues so that we can avoid issues like what the International House of Prayer now finds itself involved in.

Link to more about the IHOP vs IHOP lawsuit:

Church Fundraising Guide

September 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

To help facilitate the growth of your church, and to make room for more people and ministries, you don’t want finances to get in the way. Financial concerns are prevalent everywhere in our lives, and they are something that we do not want to get in the way of God having His way in our lives, and in our church.

Some of the things that we need need money for in the church are:

  • Fund new ministry initiatives
  • Pay pastors and other church employees
  • Help in our community
  • Maintain existing church building and facilities
  • Build new church buildings and facilities

Every church is different, and has different needs, but I think we can safely say that every church needs money to survive and to grow.

There are many different ways that we can look at fundraising for our church and ministries. Here are just a few ways that are available to us:

  • Direct donations from Church members
  • Free public advertising
  • Government Grants
  • Corporate Grants
  • Golf Tournament (I saw one of these run very successfully recently)
  • more …

A guide that can help you to sort through all these ideas and provide you with a step by step guide for church fundraising is the Church Fundraising Idea Guide by James S. Brown.

7 Cost Effective Ways to Grow Your Church!

August 16, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: General 

Do you want your church to grow? Are you reaching the people looking for a church just like yours? Some of those folks are looking in your area for the first time and yet others for a variety of reasons are looking for a new church home.

If your church is like many organizations, you don’t have a large marketing budget to spend on marketing.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things your church can do to promote itself.  All it takes is being creative by thinking a little bit out of the box to get some fantastic returns on your marketing budget.  Here are 7 ideas that should help build your membership if you do them consistently.  More importantly, do them in excellence!  Are these the only ways to market your church?  Absolutely not!

  1. Send Out Press Releases REGULARLY! – Press releases are one of the biggest sources of free publicity for your church.  One of the most effective (and cheapest) ways to get your message out about your organizations special event or activity is to regularly provide press releases to the local paper and radio stations. These organizations are hungry for content.  You just need to provide it to them. Complile a list of all of the outlets in your area.  Don’t forget to try and find out who handles your section of the paper and sent it to that person directly. Learn how to write a good press release.
  2. Email Signatures - How many emails do you send out each day/week/month or year?  Many of those emails go to non church congregants.  Each of those provides an opportunity for a little promotional "commercial" if you will about your church. An e-mail signature consists of text and/or pictures that are automatically added to the end of an outgoing e-mail message. Email signatures are automatic and once set up require no effort or thought on your side. They provide a powerful opportunity for you to provide your organizations web address and a tag line that promotes what your church is all about.  
  3. Plan a Special Event! A special event held at your church can either let people know about your church and what it stands for or even reinvigorate awareness of your church.  How does that work you ask? Special events give your current members a reason to reach out to friends/co-workers to experience your church. The thing you need to remember is to make special events special.  Provide spacing in terms of time between events. 
  4. Promote a different ministry each month. Your church can be viewed as one large group that is composed of several smaller groups or ministries. Sometimes called Love In Action Ministries, you may have groups within your church that get together regularly that are focused on niches within your church.  Some of these groups are or can be Youth/Teens/ Men’s Group, Women’s Bible Study. Book Study Groups, etc. Each one of the ministries in your church contributes in some way to the growth and outreach of your church. Don’t think that just because these groups are ongoing in your church that everyone knows about them. Promote one group each month weekly.
  5. Using the internet as an outreach ministry.  Now more than ever, individuals are looking to attend churches that share their values. The Internet can be one of the most valuable and cost effective ways to get your church’s name in front of others who share your passions.  Those others may include the media, civic or community leaders. Don’t back away from helping publicize other noteworthy activities in the area either. Your church’s interest/participation/promotion of those events will register with like minded individuals who will be attracted to and visit your church.  Don’t have a website yet?  Think Craigslist to promote your church.
  6. Signage - Whether it is your church sign or roadside signs placed strategically around the area, this is one of the best returns on investments to get your church exposure and thus visitors.  Using your church sign to serve your community is a unique and powerful means of reaching out. Think about announcing community events beyond those that are happening at your church, such as a neighbourhood association meeting or charitable events. Let the community know about the organized activities offered by your church beyond weekly services too, such as day care and youth group events. You can also promote your church by putting posters on bulletin boards and other places to let people know what events/services are available at your church. Posters that are the size of a standard sheet of paper (8 ½" X 11") can usually be posted in a variety of places such as grocery stores, laundry mats, at other places where people gather. Get permission before you put up your posters. Be a good neighbour!
  7. Postcards/flyers – In the age of the internet, many wonder if this medium works. Yet for shear cost effectiveness, in your immediate area, either hand delivering or mailing a postcard in a 1 mile area around your church is hard to beat.  What is amazing about dropping a postcard off at a home is the lingering effect as well as the immediate response.  You will see results almost immediately in visits to both your church and your website.  There will be a diminishing return as interest from that postcard will erode over time.  But you will see folks coming to church months after from that initial campaign. That is actually a great thing.  So, by systematic in rotating the areas / neighbourhoods you are covering. And just because you dropped off a postcard in a neighbourhood previously, don’t feel you can’t do it again.  You should always see visitors/interest from a postcard campaign.  So instead of doing 1 large campaign of say 10,000 postcards/flyers all at once. Better to do them in 500 increments a week.  

Don’t feel like you have to incorporate all of these at once.  Learn how to do each one of these and do them well.  On the other hand, you don’t have to have perfected an item to begin on another.  Just don’t try to do too many at once.  Tweak each item and split test results to see which approach works better.

Want to learn more about church marketing? Or did you read something here that you want to discuss more? Perhaps you have a project that you need help on or at least want to bounce ideas off. We are there for you!

John-PanicoWe welcome your feedback at Unity Church Marketing. Or follow our tweets on Twitter at http://twitter.com/johnpanico

We think church can and should be more. We hope you do as well!

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