I was reading a blog post by Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing, and he was talking about the importance of book titles. To quote him exactly: “Great titles are PINC (pronounced “pink”). They do at least one of the following: make a promise, create intrigue, identify a need, or simply state the content.” As church leaders, shouldn’t the name of your church and your sermon titles also do one of these things or more? Just as people often buy a book based on the title and cover, people will decide a lot about your church based on the name and the sermon titles out on your church’s sign/marquis. Do the things that are out in the community defining your church to the public making a promise? creating intrigue? identifying a need? or telling about the content people will find in your church? …Or are they just vague references that only the “churched insider club” will understand?
Archive for the 'evangelism' Category
When Church planters enter a community, they usually do some research first. They figure out where the people are, where they can meet the needs of the people they intend to reach etc… In established churches, sometimes the community changes while we aren’t paying attention. Maybe we need to take a walk around the neighborhood with some new eyes. Plant a new church within the established church! Rose White (Sorry Rose, I don’t have a link to you on the internet) recently did some incredible research into the idea of the “Christo-centric Walkabout” finding where people would and wouldn’t go in a city and why people might find certain areas or even churches “inaccessible”. Has your church become inaccessible to the people of the community where it is located? Do changes need to be made so that you can meet the people where they are in order to create relationships in which the Gospel of Jesus can be shared? Maybe it is time for a Walkabout…or even just a walk around the neighborhood with your eyes open to how God would have you reach the people there.
In Mark 1:28, we see the following about Jesus - “News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.” How does that happen? News doesn’t spread unless it is put out there. This verse got me thinking about the church. Is your church one about which news spreads all over your whole region? Or is your church one that people don’t even know is there? Size of the church isn’t the issue. If you are part of a church of 25 or a church of 25,000 there is something to tell people about. Since the church of 25,000 probably already has a decent promotional effort going on, I shall endeavor to target the smaller church today. If you are sitting there thinking, (((My church doesn’t have any news worth spreading all over our region))), then either you are right, and your church should just shut down and sell or give away the building…or you are wrong. Here are some ideas for press releases or even guest writing for a local paper/blog/news radio show/tv news.
- Highlight a guest speaker
- Neighborhood dinner party
- Hosting a church festival
- Ground breaking ceremony…for anything! (New swing set in the children’s play area?)
- Even a new sermon series dealing with life applicable issues. (Marriage, Money Management, Recovery…)
I hope this helps you get the news out there about your church. Not so that you will be famous, but so that the news of JESUS will be spread all over your region!
This year, as the CEO’s (That is – Christmas and Easter Only attenders) come pouring into your church for Easter Sunday get excited about it. It is easy to become cynical and think, why should I care, they won’t be back til Christmas. For many of them, you may be proved correct. Easter is the one day in our culture when you can really invite EVERYONE to church. You can invite those people that normally wouldn’t go, but maybe, just because it is Easter, they will show up, even if just out of cultural guilt. Then, if your church has prepared for them, God can use this day to get a hold of their heart! New baby Christians are great any day of the year! Even on Easter. Have fun, smile and show people the love of Jesus Christ this Sunday!
While I realize that many who read this are not in the United States of America, for those of us who are, we live in a country that is blessed with all forms of Christian stuff. We have churches, Christian camps, Christian radio stations, Christian book stores, Christian coffee houses, Christian schools…yet it seems that in the midst of all this Christian stuff, we are losing the battle between light and darkness in our country. Light doesn’t really have to fight against darkness, light IS…and where it is, there cannot be darkness. There is no way to argue with darkness to convince it to be light. Sharing Jesus Christ with people and seeing HIM change lives is the way to spread the light in the dark world. None of those things I mentioned before are bad. I am not saying that because we have them, people are dying and going to hell. What I am saying is that with all those things around, it is easy to become complacent and live in our own little world full of other Christians and never feel that sense of urgency to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with just one more person.
Yesterday, I had a chance to see just a little bit of what the party in heaven must be like when someone comes to the Lord! NewSpring Church had a 10th anniversary celebration at the BiLo Center in Greenville, SC. Just being able to praise an ALL POWERFUL GOD along with 15,000 or so other people was incredible. The great thing was the altar call…over 350 people came forward to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior! The service was about 2 1/2 hours long and could have gone longer! During the altar call people clapped and cheered for those who were laying their lives down to let Christ take control of their destiny! For 15 minutes, 15,000 people were in unison praying for those down by the stage. For 15 minutes, there were no problems, no divorces, no debt, no tax issues, no kid problems or parent problems! For 15 minutes of Glory, people stood and cheered for the ALMIGHTY GOD who was GREAT enough to reach down and save not only those who walked forward but each of us who were cheering as well. We are ALL broken vessels saved by a LOVING GOD who cared enough to make a way for us to find HIM through HIS SON JESUS CHRIST! That was 15 minutes of GLORY!
How do we integrate great ideas like permission marketing into the church. First, what is permission marketing. I don’t claim to be the expert on the subject. (For expert, click here) Basically though, permission marketing says that we must earn a person’s trust before marketing a product to them. The days of just blaring out a message through television, radio and print media are waning quickly. In the church, this seems to be doubly true. Just standing on the street corner shouting to random people that they are going to hell is unlikely to cause sinners to fall in love with Jesus. (There are times for confrontational evangelism, but that is another post all together.) Most of the time, a person is brought to the Lord because a believer showed interest in them as a person first. Once we care about the person and they realize that we are there for them whether or not they accept our “product” then they are much more willing to listen. Jesus as our example in this style of witnessing, He met with sinners in their homes. He cared about us enough to die on the cross for us even before we decided to accept Him as our savior. (Not jumping into the predestination argument here.) He cared about us…we must care about others first! That way, we earn the right to share with them the greatest product endorsement ever!
Today I have a great honor! I get to go speak at Home with a Heart! It is always great to go speak with these guys! Michael Campbell, who is the editor of our local paper, The Pickens County Courier is going with me. It is always great to get to hang out with him. Those aren’t the reasons I am excited though. Sometimes, as a guy who doesn’t get to preach much, when the occasion comes up, I feel like I have to rush to get something, anything put together to be able to share with a group of people. Today is different. God put something in my heart especially for today and I am excited to be able to share it! Can’t wait! Have an awesome day!
My wife and I are heading out for a vacation in Chattanooga in a few days. It has been about two years since we got to get away together as just the two of us. I am really looking forward to it. As we prepare for the trip, making sure someone can take care of our pets, clean up the house so it will look nice when we get back, pack…etc. It gets me thinking. At the end of our life here on earth, we take a trip to heaven or hell. Are we preparing while here on earth for that trip?
This morning, I started reading Brad Powell’s Change Your Church For Good: The Art Of Sacred Cow Tipping. I hadn’t gotten very far when I came accross this quote: “multitudes of people are giving up on the whole idea of attending church. And, in their defense, many churches aren’t worth attending.” Now, the first part of that quote may very well be true and I am sure Mr. Barna has some research to back that one up. The second part of that quote bothers me. Not because it isn’t true, but that it is! How can the church, which is the bride of Christ, the holder of the best news ever in the history of the world, the sons and daughters of God…how can that church be not worth attending? I think the problem lies in that not all buildings with people meeting in them on Sunday morning are really churches in the previously mentioned sense. Some are just clubs that may sing some songs and listen to a somewhat morally positive speech for a while while those in attendance think of the roast in the crock pot or where they want to go for lunch. We as the church of Jesus Christ must get out of our comfort zones and share the Love of Jesus with our communities or we may all very well end up as “churches [that] aren’t worth attending.”