Energizing Good Rumors
By Gary L. McIntosh
How may a church tie into the network of previous adopters (church members and attenders) to reach potential adopters? As a church leader, you do not need to passively sit by. The following are some ways your church may begin to develop word-of-mouth advertising.
1. Upgrade Facilities: If facilities, grounds, and equipment are below what people would have in their homes, they may come themselves, but will not feel good enough about their church to spread good rumors and bring new people. Facilities must be slightly better than people expect.
2. Enhance Services: Services need to be a notch above expectations and consistently good. For example, if the worship service is excellent about one Sunday per month and mediocre the remaining Sundays, it will be difficult to develop good rumors. Members will only spread Rood rumors when they believe that the worship service will be consistently good each Sunday.
3. Utilize Newsletters: A newsletter is a solid way to build a cadre of loyal followers. It is time-consuming and expensive, but is certainly worth the effort. One key is a regular schedule. Many churches put out a newsletter sporadically. If anything, this works against the development of good rumors. Make good use of pictures. Keep it crisp, clean, clear, and upbeat.
4. Host Open Houses: Make it a practice to host regular open-house meetings where members may share their desires, hopes, and concerns. At the same meetings church leaders may communicate their church’s vision and direction.
5. Interview People: Interview people from the platform on Sunday mornings. Select new people, those with a fresh testimony and those who have been served effectively by your church. Host an end-of-the-year event where many people who have been touched by your church may share their stories.
6. Court Opinion Leaders: One pastor visited the mayor of his city. After the proper introductions were made, the mayor asked how he could help the pastor. The pastor confided that he simply wanted to know how the mayor was doing. Before leaving, he prayed for the mayor! The mayor was shocked and pleased. Needless to say, this opinion leader has good things to say about this pastor and his church.
7. Build Good Experiences: Complete projects that are started. Work on small goals that are sure to succeed and publicize it when they are met. Take slides and pictures of church events. Show them at meetings throughout the year. Develop a video about your church.
8. Communicate Victories: Print answers to prayer. Share how your church is progressing toward its yearly goals. Tell how ministries are reaching people. Publicly read thank-you cards and letters from people who have been helped by your church. Communicate everything several different ways.
9. Develop a Sense of Expectancy: Preach messages that point to hope in the Lord. Describe how God has met church needs over the years, and project His certain help into the future. Tell how God has answered your prayers.
10. Give Out Business Cards: Provide business cards for every member of the church as a tool for developing good rumors. Give each person in your church fifty-two cards. Encourage them to hand out one each week with an invitation to attend your worship services.
Does your church have natural word-of-mouth visibility in its ministry area? If not, then you will need to develop a strategy to help increase your word-of-mouth image.
“Energizing Good Rumors”. By Gary L. McIntosh.
“This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”