Talked to a youth pastor not too long ago about transitioning the reputation and image of this church in his community. The church didn’t have a positive image or reputation, so he was asking about some strategies for helping move them forward in this process. Up front, let me tell you that a church in transition is always challenging. How do you let them know about the new direction you’re going? Here are a couple of thoughts that might help or springboard you to the right direction if you’re in this position:
The first strategy is for people to SEE about the change – so you can focus on increasing your marketing in your community. Take out some modest newspaper ads, Google ads and set up a “under new management” banner (only somewhat kidding). Announce your shift in priorities, direction or style.
Seeing probably isn’t enough – they need to FEEL the change. Get out in the community. Send hand-written letters to everyone in your town. Get behind mass service projects, random acts of kindness, open a foodbank, etc. Get out there and let them know the changes they are reading on a banner outside the church are making a difference in the hearts of people inside it, too.
Then, word of mouth kicks in and they HEAR about your church. They break down and come give it a shot, and you’re there to invite them to trust Jesus and become part of the movement that is emerging in your community.