4 Ways Churches Can Connect with Their Communities

in Communication / 09 Jul 2018

Did you know that millennials perceive church to be an “insiders only” club? In other words, the youth believes that the church only caters for its members while excluding the community at large.

Well, is your church actively connecting and engaging with newcomers and the unchurched? If yes, kudos to you! If not, this blog post is just what you need to read. Keep reading to unpack four outreach ideas that will help you connect with people in your community. 

community-outreach-ideas1. PROMOTE YOUR CHURCH USING FACEBOOK EVENTS

Facebook events have grown in popularity ever since their beginnings 13 years ago. More than half of all event attendees use Facebook to discover their events. After all, Facebook events act as a one-stop destination for all event-related information and discussion. They are also a great way to create interest in an event within your community since they practically publicise themselves.

Every time someone clicks either ‘Going’ or ‘Interested’, the event appears on his/her friends’ news feeds, which helps you reach a wider audience without any extra effort. Additionally, if a user attends an event in the neighbouring area of his/her Facebook friends, they are notified about the incident.

So, why not make use of this popular feature to spread the word about your events? Take a look at James River Church’s events page for ideas.

2. ENGAGE ONLINE FOLLOWERS WITH BLOGS

Blogs are a well-trusted and sought-after channel of information on the Internet. They give many churches and pastors a level of credibility that other channels of communication would not.

One of the most credible church blogs is James River Blog. One of the key reasons for its success is that it is relevant to its audience. So, make time for research to ensure that your articles are relevant to your community.

A great way to ensure that your blog is relevant to your audience is by writing content that will resonate with them. How can you identify what content works? Tools, such as Google Trends, quantify and rank the interests of people in your community, helping you to identify the most relevant topics. Specify your location, enter a search term and click ‘Search’ to see the results.

Another great way to connect with new people via your church blog is by using call-to-action (CTA) buttons. You could add CTAs on the sidebar or at the bottom of your web pages to prompt readers to connect with the church to discuss their struggles or seek prayer. This will not only help you begin a dialogue with your audience, but also make your church more approachable.

3. COMMUNICATE WITH NEWCOMERS USING SOCIAL MESSAGING

When speaking about social messaging, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said that messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking. In fact, over 2 billion people are active users of social messaging. Moreover, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the most popular tools across age groups.

In fact, churches like yours can engage on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Business as they allow you to send messages as an organisation rather than an individual. For instance, your messages would be delivered in the name of your church instead of an anonymous number.

4. STAY CONNECTED WITH PAST VISITORS VIA E-MAILS

Your church’s use of e-mails is still of great importance despite the prominence of other channels of communication. In fact, e-mail users are predicted to rise to almost 3 billion by 2019.

A good way to begin leveraging e-mails for your church would be to create lists using e-mail addresses that you’ve gathered through other mediums, such as your church’s blogs and social media.

In fact, you could even go a step further and segment your e-mailing lists into two categories – one that comprises contacts who are regular attendees, and another that comprises visitors. Using e-mail marketing services, such as MailChimp and ActiveCampaign, can help you segment your contacts in this manner with ease.

Once you have these lists, it would be good to create an e-mail campaign to follow up with your visitors to keep them engaged. In fact, this strategy is a great way of bringing visitors back to your church. You can read all about HOW TO: Use E-mails to Bring Visitors Back to Your Church here.

We hope that these tips will help you actively engage with people outside of your church walls. Has your church used other methods to connect with people in your community? If so, drop us a comment below and let’s talk!

We also have one more resource that will help you to make sure that your website is up to the mark – our e-book 50 Common Mistakes on Church Websites. Download your FREE copy to identify and fix errors that could be preventing your website from being fruitful.

Avoid these pitfalls
and join the league of
extraordinary church websites

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