When you want to reach the unchurched, you have to do more than just have a program to bring in the unchurched.
Instead, you must build your church for the unchurched. This involves everything from the actual church itself to the mindset of your members.
The entire purpose is to seamlessly integrate the unchurched into your church family. From the moment they walk in, your church will feel like home to them.
Build Passion With Your Members
Did you realize that almost 70% of first-time guests come to your church because they were invited by a member? If your members aren’t passionate about the church, why would they invite someone else? The idea is to find ways to better engage your current members so they’re more likely to want to bring along friends and relatives.
Many members never invite anyone because they don’t feel like services and events are engaging enough. Build passion within your church and you’ll reach more of the unchurched.
Speak About What Brings People Together
It’s tempting to try and bring everyone together via theology, but it might not be the most effective way to build your church for the unchurched. Part of the reason people join a church is for the sense of community and understanding. Reach both your members and the unchurched by focusing on things that people have in common.
Pastor Andy Stanley from North Point Community Church says that people “are on a happiness quest.” Make services more engaging and relatable by focusing on common fears, challenges, joys and more. This creates a happier experience that will make the unchurched feel more like part of the church family.
Create A Culture Than Embraces Differences
Everyone has their own opinions, but to build a church for the unchurched, you must create a culture within your church that embraces differences. For instance, you might use a wide variety of music to appeal to all ages. You might have different worship groups that talk about the challenges that different ages or types of people (singles vs. families for instance) face.
The more diverse your church is, the more welcoming it is to the unchurched.
Get Involved Outside The Church
The unchurched are more likely to get involved with your church when opportunities exist outside the church walls. In fact, in one survey, 47% of the unchurched said they were likely to attend a church event that involved neighborhood safety, while 43% said they’d be likely to attend a church sponsored community service event.
Building your church for the unchurched means you’ll have to step outside of the church sometimes. This is a way to introduce yourself and your members to those who may be looking for a new church. It also shows the unchurched that you care about the community.
Set A Time To Answer Questions From The Unchurched
Sometimes it’s assumed that the unchurched already understand everything, from basic beliefs to how your church works. Never assume anything. In fact, let the unchurched know that you’re available to talk to them. Church leaders or even member volunteers can set aside time each week and online (if you have an online presence) to get their questions answered. This shows that the church is invested in their needs and that the church is welcoming home for them.
Create A New Visitor Welcome Plan
When the unchurched walk in, is it obvious where they should go? Are church hours clearly posted? What about any worship groups or special events? It’s overwhelming sometimes for the unchurched to walk in. Have a few members ready to greet new visitors and help guide them. It’s also a good idea to place information on your website to help the unchurched learn more about your church before they visit.
Ensure Your Church Is Modern And Welcoming
Finally, it might be time for a church renovation. For instance, if the carpet is still a bland yellow or green from the 60s, it might be too outdated for the unchurched. Consider adding a little padding to pews, updating the carpet, repainting the walls, adding navigational elements (such as signs) and anything else that helps to modernize your church.
Remember, you don’t have to go big. The idea is to just create a more modern, welcoming atmosphere. Think about if your new in-laws were visiting your home, you’d want everything to look perfect. The same goes with building your church for the unchurched.
Want to help the unchurched learn more about you before their first visit? Find out how a church website provides a welcome mat online.