Before you can understand how to attract people to your church, you need to understand the basic psychological factors that people experience before they decide to attend a new church. Here is a recent statement from an unknown internet blogger about church. “It is repetitious, predictable, and a meaningless ritual. I would rather sleep in. I work hard all week and I deserve it!”… unknown author.
I am sorry for sounding repetitious here, but I will say it again. “The reason people do not attend church is because they see no benefit in attending.”
Look at the top 5 reasons for attending church on a recent pastor’s blog I found during an internet search on “why we should attend church.”
1. Because it is an act of obedience to God and it honors the Lord’s Day. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Ex. 20:8).
2. Because we need to belong to a community of faith that includes our brothers and sisters in Christ who are trying to live out the gospel just like we are.
3. Because we will benefit from being taught and led in worship by others, rather than always depending on ourselves to read and study the Bible.
4. Because we need regular reminders of our standing in Christ, help in acknowledging and confessing our sins, and teaching about God’s truth.
5. Because we need help in praying, tithing, and fasting.
Really? That’s the best we can come up as to why people should come to church? They are all sound reasons and beneficial, but it sounds like something my grandma would say. No offense to the older crowd, but it’s typically the younger generations that churches are targeting. It’s a day and age in which we are competing with: “It is repetitious, predictable and a meaningless ritual. I would rather sleep in. I work hard all week and I deserve it!”… unknown author. We better come up with better reasons to attend church on Sunday morning!
Look at the basic “buying” principles of people and how we can learn to apply them to the church.
What do people buy?
The important thing to remember here is that people do not buy products and services. People buy benefits; they buy what a product will do for them. People don’t buy a book because they like the cover. They buy it for what is inside – for the benefit it will bring them by reading it. It might be for entertainment purposes or it might in some way make their lives better.
Modified and applied to the church: People will come to your church for what it will do for them. Make certain that in your marketing efforts you describe, in detail, what the advantages and benefits are from attendance. This is done best by promoting a particular sermon series such as a series focusing on improving marriages, cleaning up financial pressures, bridging a gap between parents and children, and many other key areas of life.
Why do people buy?
People buy to fulfill a need! There are 4 basic needs that drive buying decisions:
- Physical Needs (The need to fix a problem in their life.)
- Social Needs (The need to belong to something.)
- Ego Needs (The need to feel important.)
- Spiritual Needs (The need to connect and help others.)
Modified and applied to the church: People will come to your church to fulfill a need. Make certain in your marketing efforts that you describe how your church can fulfill a need in their life. Tell them how to discover their purpose, how to have better relationships, or other value propositions. Be aware. Study your community and determine a need and market to the masses to solve it. Mark 8:1-9 illustrates how Jesus fed the masses with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. Jesus found a need and filled it. We should, as a church, do the same in our communities.
How do people buy & How to get them to your Church!
Don’t make the assumption that, by just sending out a direct mailer, putting up a billboard, placing some door hangers out, or listing your ad in the newspaper, people will come to your church.
Getting people to come to church is not a guessing game. There is a formula, that if followed and implemented correctly, will yield a fruitful crop of new visitors ripe for the Holy Spirit to speak to their lives.
There are 4 basic principles determining how people go about making a decision to come to your church. You should follow them in every marketing endeavor.
1. They Must Have a Need to Come to Your Church.
Develop sermon series that meet needs in people’s lives.
2. They Must Believe That Your Church Will Fulfill Their Need.
Publish your sermon titles outlining action steps that meet that need. You must establish a need in their lives then provide the ultimate answer to that need, Jesus Christ!
3. They Must Decide That Your Church is The Right Church for Them.
List the benefits your church offers them and their families.
4. They Must Decide The Time To Come to Your Church Is Now.
Create urgency with a timely sermon series that people won’t want to miss.
Getting people to attend your church is not an enigma. It should not be some far-off question in the back of your leadership’s mind, or a discussion that takes hours without a definitive answer. Getting people to church is simple human psychology, and smart secular companies use it to “sell” their products everyday. The church should be using these same techniques to attract new visitors and grow the Kingdom.