Church marketing “and” outreach?

What is your best marketing and/or outreach idea for under $500 in starting a new church? This question was posed as part of a blogging competition I am in with Passion 4 Planting and Planting Space for the Exponential Conference.

I find it interesting that marketing and outreach are used in the same question as if they are synonymous. People should know who we are and God’s work among us (marketing) because of our revolutionary love for others as we live Jesus’ mission (outreach).

Imagine a church that is … more interested in giving Jesus a good name than giving themselves a good name … more concerned with meeting people’s real needs than in self-promotion.

This imagery is possible!

But it takes more than … passing out water bottles printed with our church logo … having a launch team wear our church t-shirt … putting fliers on pizza boxes … or buying bill boards….

It requires seeking to understand the specific needs of people in our community. It means extending ourselves to meet these needs. It necessitates developing personal relationships.

Here’s how:

1. Do a needs assessment. Meet with people of influence in your city to identify the greatest needs within the community; review the last year of newspapers looking for themes of community issues and needs; run a survey within the community specifically to identify peoples real needs; and prioritize the identified needs. This process has the potential of building a relational network of over a thousand people while communicating true care, concern, and love for others.

2. Be a good neighbor. Empower your launch team to partner with already existing organizations that meet the highest priority needs of people in the community and/or start a community based organization to meet needs that are presently unmet.

3. Invite to participation. Birth a new church from the relationships developed in meeting people’s real needs in tangible ways.

For more information on designing a needs assessment, identifying the people of influence in your community, and starting a community based organization go to http://www.compassionbydesign.org/.

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