As the world and its politics become more divisive, churches have become a more important place to come together as a community. However, not everyone knows that they may even be part of a local parish, or otherwise know how to join. This is why it is so important that churches take the time to market themselves to their communities. These church advertising tips are designed to increase your numbers, spread your message, and build the trust you need in your community.
What are people looking for in a church?
Before you start advertising your parish, consider what you need to advertise about your parish? Knowing what people are looking for in your local church will not only help make your church more attractive to newcomers, but it will also help you determine which aspects of your church to highlight when advertising. Here are some tips on what church goers (especially Millennium and General Z) are looking for.
- Inclusion: Creating an inclusive community is very important for many Christians today, especially those who may have felt otherwise excluded in the past. Parishes that take extra steps to embrace their LGBTQ + community, as well as immigrants and other minorities, will be very attractive to a progressive church.
- Community service: What are you doing to help build your community? Services such as child care, youth activities, English classes and more can not only attract newcomers, but also increase community engagement with your parish. Even small things like monthly babysitting nights for parents to go out can go a long way for your congregation.
- A sense of community: More than just service, most people love their parish for the feel of their community that it offers. Coming together, even once a week on a Sunday, gives your community the opportunity to meet, talk, and build relationships, so make sure you are encouraging that interaction in your congregation.
- Charitable opportunities: Those who go to church regularly want to help their community. Everything from soup kitchens to making blankets for kids can help give your congregation a chance to reach out to others in their community.
- A spiritual experience: Don’t forget the number one attraction! Fill your Sunday sessions with spiritual music with beautiful music, uplifting exhortations, and a deep dive into the Scriptures that come through prayerful study and preparation.
Free marketing ideas for churches
No budget? No problem! There are many ways you can gain visibility in your community for little to no money. Here are some ideas for free church advertising:
- Patlak: Can’t pay the bill? Let your existing congregation bring the crowd with their own delicious food! Rent a place in your local park and host an outdoor patlock so anyone can come and join.
- Social media: Anyone needs a smart phone or a computer for a booming social media page Post pictures of your chapel, your church, your activities or even your scriptures of the week. Want more post ideas? Check out this fun article by Creative Priest.
- Local SEO: Make it easy for your church to search online! Find your location on Google Maps and other map services, then register your “business” in that location This is important if you want your area to come up in search results.
- Create a website: Everyone needs a website, and you can easily find a free service to host your website Need help optimizing your website for SEO? Check out this article from Michigan Tech University to help you with the basics!
Paid marketing ideas for churches
Of course, having at least a little money will help you expand your marketing options. If you have a budget to work with, here are some practical options to invest in:
- Host an open house: Got your own chapel? Show it to the community with a stylish open house! Light on a budget, all you need to pull it off is to place it neatly around some flowers for decoration, along with a snack arrangement.
- Advertising paid: You don’t need to film your own video ad to view your message (although making your own YouTube video never hurts!) Create your own social media and Google ads with any free photo editing software, then provide what your budget allows Please. Spread around.
- Flyer: Created an online ad? Reuse that beautifully designed work and create some classic paper flyers to pass! Ask your congregation to share the flyers with friends, or go door-to-door with door hangers. You can also check out our other blog posts on Door-to-Door Marketing for more tips!
- Giveaways: Everyone likes free stuff, and it’s better to come from your parish! Scripture highlighters, journals, keychains and much more make the perfect gift for any parish. Gifts will help both bring people back and start conversations with future participants.
- Take out your sermon: Don’t limit your education to chapels, host an extra session where people are! I’m not talking about soap boxes on the street. I’m talking about renting an event space at a local restaurant or other place where you and your congregation will be a little more visible.
How to grow your church through parish engagement
Have a big parish but less Sunday attendance? Do you want to keep your congregation out of Sunday service? Here are some ways you can keep your congregation active to maintain and increase the number of sheep you have.
- Livestream service: Whether it’s a health concern or just feeling shy, there are many reasons why people don’t come to Sunday services despite being interested in your advice. Livestream your services for free on YouTube or other sites so everyone can hear your message. You can also leave your videos for others to view as free ads
- Scriptural highlights: Sharing a weekly scripture, whether through text chains or social media, can help keep the Spirit (and your advice) at the top of your mind in your church throughout the week. You can let visitors like your highlights and subscribe, or sign up for email
- Rewards for participation: Need more choir members? Need help putting together a holiday event? Participatory gifts and presents, even if it’s just snacks, can be a great motivation for those who are otherwise “too busy”.
- Post-service activities: After the Sunday service, keep everyone together and keep up with the after-service activity. Kids play, go to the park for your own lunch, gather in groups in the chapel for scripture study sessions, or play quiet organ music while everyone is passing and mingling.
Church gift ideas for advertising
Want to give something to your congregation to share with friends, or need something nice to give to your choir? Whatever your needs, here are some great church advertising gifts that will spread the word and promote your parish:
Curvaceous metallic stylus pen / highlighter
A pen and a highlighter in one, this pen is suitable for the study of scriptures With this stylish pen, your church can highlight the original scriptures, create notes in their journals or margins, and even use the included stylus tip to do it with virtual scripture! Impress with your own parish logo, your website and an insightful scripture (we recommend Psalm 119: 15).
Soft Touch Thelma notebook with ribbon bookmarks
Perfect for thoughtful reflection while studying sermons or scriptures, these beautiful notebooks come in respectable colors and matching ribbon bookmarks. Your recipients will be able to feel the quality of the cover with our soft touch finish that feels like satin. Need a good scripture to make an impression on the cover? We recommend Philippians 4: 8.
Rectangular key light
Light the way for your congregation with a stylish keychain light. A popular gift and a useful tool, these flashlight keychains will remind your congregation of the true light in their lives whenever they use it. Scriptures like John 8:12, Matthew 5:16, Psalm 119: 105, and many more can be printed at the top to make these flashlights the perfect church gift.
Pro Tip: Need more church gift ideas? Check out our blog post full of great church promotional products.
Advertising is more than just getting people at the door. Effective church advertising works both to let people know that you are there and to give them all the reasons to stay. Don’t just focus on the sheep roaming outside your fence; Make sure your sheep are getting the love they need to thrive in your parish. Word of mouth is a powerful advertiser, and with a little help from your online and offline advertising efforts a happy swarm will surely grow.