Gimmicks or the Gospel: How to attract holiday visitors.

Christmas time has always been a prime opportunity for Churches to reach new visitors and folks who generally only come once a year. This season is one that is filled with opportunities for gospel conversations and quality outreach. It is often tempting for Churches to use secular gimmicks to bring people in the door, but these gimmicks won’t motivate a visitor to return. The secret lies in the gospel. The genuine love of Christ captures hearts and minds and will work best to keep visitors returning.

So how does a church use the gospel to attract visitors. Well it begins by being welcoming, honest, and transparent. These are three areas that non-christians and cultural christians are looking for in a church. Most are tired of having to put up a front and perform. They desire a church that is real whether they admit it or not.

Unfortunately most Christmas service invites from churches aren’t in and of themselves welcoming, honest and transparent, but you can change that. What follows is a primer on what church advertising should look like, to be gospel centered and practical.

There are two primary places you should be promoting your Churches Christmas services. The first is your website and the second is social media. Now if your church doesn’t have these features thats ok. They are easy to create and manage and I would be more than happy to walk you through that process. Feel free to set up a time to talk with me and we can get you setup.

Let’s start by talking about your website. When a visitor googles your church or for churches in their area they are looking for some pretty basic information. The primary questions they will be asking is where is your church located, what time are your services, and do you provide childcare. But there will be a question looming in the back of their mind, “Will I and my family be welcomed?”. This is where you need to have some solid copy to accompany your information. I would suggest starting with something like this: “If you are the kind of person who only attends church on holidays, then we are the place for you. You and your family will be welcomed and cared for from the moment you walk through our door. Our friendly staff will help you find everything you need to have a wonderful holiday experience.” After you lead with a statement like this clearly answer the questions about the logistics of the service above. If you can make this page the first page that appears when someone visits your website from now through the first of the year and then use this page again when Easter roles around.

For social media there are several things you can do. The first and easiest one that I would recommend is a facebook Event. These are free and easy to promote. You can use the same copy and logistical info that you used for your website. You can then invite members of your church who can say they are going to your event and this will drive up its popularity and its place in search results when someone searches facebook events for a Christmas or Holiday service. It’s important to remember that while we as judo Christians call it Christmas many folks who are unchurched or only come on Christmas and Easter will probably be calling it a holiday service and so we want our messaging to match.

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