If you’re launching a church, you’re very likely a healthy mix of called … and crazy. Church planting is hard work. It takes courage, leadership, vision, and resources. And that will only get you to day one.
For those on a launch team, drive and passion can catch like wildfire. The church launch is the most exciting experience for a church planter and his team. However, the church launch often is the least exciting experience for the community in which you’re planting.
Think about it: What differentiates your church from the sometimes hundreds of other churches already in the community? Why should another school, theater, or community center be taken over on a Sunday by a group of hyped-up believers wielding parking lot signs?
We believe that the local church is the hope of the world, but this belief doesn’t always translate for those who might not believe at all.
If the community doesn’t care about your church launch, what does it care about?
We at Yellowbox have worked with hundreds of church planters. We have observed that the following best practices make the most impact during a launch season.
Start with raising awareness. Awareness campaigns begin long before your launch date and are built around your story as a church planter and your church’s mission.
Here are a few ideas we’ve seen work well:
- Get involved in community events such as fairs and festivals.
- Rent theaters for big movie releases and give away free tickets for a chance to promote the church.
- Create content such as story videos to promote on social media and online.
- Transform your standard interest meetings into themed dinner parties.
Take the contact information you gather through these activities and build an active email list. Share weekly devotionals and other upcoming activities with this list as you approach the launch.
Launch big with a concept built around a felt need. Every church planter has preferences. God has uniquely called you to reach an even more unique audience in a location that is equally unique. Preference matters. However, without the proper data about your community, you may find that your preference for something as simple as a series direction or design doesn’t align with the audience you are called to reach.
Enter the discovery process. Demographic studies not only can shed light on who is in your backyard, but also what keeps them up at night. Discover the pain points of your community and create a concept that addresses those issues, and you may very well develop a winning launch campaign.
Launch with a series versus a one-off event. In most communities, you could take two steps in any direction and find someone who has been burned by a church for myriad reasons. Fear of judgment, poor past experiences, and crowds of strangers are often more than enough to keep people from visiting.
We’ve found that the more a church can alleviate such fears through communication and relevance, the more impact it can make in a community. A series built around a felt need (identified in the discovery process) not only builds relevance, but also paints a clear picture of what visitors can expect during the launch season.
Yellow is a team of strategists, designers, developers, writers, directors, and producers united by a love of Christ. They believe that with the right creative coaching and tools, churches can be more effective in sharing the Gospel. They are passionate about sharing ideas, processes, planning, and best practices with others. To learn more, visit yellowbox.co.