John Squiric - CEO Truth Advertising
5 SEEDS your church can SOW for BACK-TO-SCHOOL that are sure to FALL on FERTILE ground.
After almost 30 years of working personally with thousands of local churches across this country, I have never seen more challenging times for churches. We are in one of the most critical times to reach the masses with the gospel.
As a church, if you truly believed that 70% or more of your local community would miss out on eternal life in Jesus Christ if they are not saved, then why wouldn't you do everything possible to reach out to the lost in your local community and bring them the Good News.
The ideas below are not "gimmicks" written for clicks. Instead, they are programs some of our healthiest church clients use all year round to grow and increase their influence in the local communities, develop their church, and expand the Kingdom.
5 REASONS BACK TO SCHOOL IS SUCH A GREAT CHURCH OUTREACH SEASON
New Movers to YOUR Community.
It is estimated that of the 40 million people who move yearly in the United States, more than half move in the summer months. Your community has had an influx of people who don’t even know your church exists and may have many options when choosing a new church home.
New Visitors Seem to STICK.
During the Back-to-School season, people are prompted to attend church more as a lifestyle choice than as a one-time event. However, since they are not event-focused, they are more likely to return than those who attend only during Christmas or Easter.
People Develop NEW Routines after the Summer.
The new school season brings new routines, activities, and other changes to the family schedule, prompting people to refocus their lives, which can often include finding a new church home.
Meeting New FRIENDS for their Children.
Parents and children often seek to meet and join a friend group as school begins. Families often turn to the local church for this need.
SEEKING a New Church Home.
While this one is not a favorite of mine, as I believe jumping churches never allows roots to grow, sadly, many people are looking for a change after being away all summer from their church. So, back to school is the opportune time to find one.
Why not sow some seeds as a church this back-to-school season (Matthew 13:3-9). As the church, this is one of the best times of the year to gain new members, bring people to the Lord, and become a light in your community.
5 SEEDS YOUR CHURCH CAN SOW THAT ARE SURE TO FALL ON FERTILE GROUND THIS FALL.
#1. Send out a direct mail postcard inviting people to church. Direct mail is still the cheapest and most effective way to get your message directly into the hands of real people with real needs in your community. We have been helping churches grow with direct mail for 30 years, and we see no sign of slowing down. Just a bit of advice from 30 years of experience. Don't just advertise platitudes or send out cards you think have an edgy design with no "What's in it for me" (WIFF)." Offer a sermon series practical for any pain your local community is experiencing and preach sound biblical solutions to real-world issues.
Jesus was a teacher and a preacher. Matt. 4:23 "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
Give people sound biblical teaching, and help them heal their marriages, relationships, addictions, and loneliness, and ultimately find freedom in Christ Jesus. They will not only visit your church, but they will also stay. Side Note: It begins with getting them in the door.
#2. Purchase school supplies & have a backpack giveaway. People are struggling this year, probably more than most years. "Be the Church" and help meet the needs of the children and families in your church. Showing people your church will go the extra mile to help meet the needs of your community will go a long way in people's hearts and minds. Even if it does not bring in one new family, you still have done what your church should be doing all the time.
#3. Host a Back-to-School event. Think about a movie night or picnic. Putting together a back-to-school event will help you to gather families together and connect with them in a lighthearted environment. It will be a chance for the church leadership to talk to members of your community. If you are a large church, it may be one of the only times you meet people who would otherwise sit on the sidelines.
#4. Adopt a local school and serve teachers. I am sure there is a school in your community that does not have an adoptive entity to help meet the needs of teachers and students. My wife is a teacher at a school with an adoptive church. Every Friday, the church brings lunch for the teachers. She would say if we didn’t have a church home, we would go to that church. Get your members and staff out of their seats and meetings and do something in your local community each week.
#5. Pray for ALL your local schools. If finances are holding you back, this one won't cost you a thing.
Our schools need prayer now more than ever. They need to be covered with a hedge of supernatural protection. Don't just say you're praying for the local schools or post it on social media. I think social media has made the church lazy and divided it more than it has brought it together. Go out and visit each school in your local community once a week and do a prayer walk in a circle around it. Cover them in the supernatural blessings of Jesus Christ and let the faculty know you are there each week praying specifically for them. Offer a prayer hotline for anyone in that school to call, email, or text if they have a specific prayer request.