It’s not as difficult as you might think to reach the unchurched. It just takes good leadership and an empowered community.
Your strongest asset is your members. If they don’t feel the same drive to reach out to the unchurched, your efforts will fall flat.
Plus, reaching the unchurched isn’t just a one-time thing. It’s a movement that continues and builds momentum to continually bring the unchurched to your doors.
Share The Passion
The best way to empower a movement is to share your passion. A passionate leader has a magnetic energy that draws people in. If you’re passionate about reaching the unchurched, that energy is going to drive your members to want to do the same thing. The more passionate they are, the easier it is for them to understand the need to give their time to help others find the doors to a faithful community.
Create A Clear Mission
Why does your church want to reach the unchurched? What does your church have to give them? Every movement needs a clear mission. For instance, if someone asks a member why they should join, the answer shouldn’t be “because we need more members.” Instead, it should be something along the lines of “it’s a welcoming place to explore and share your faith with like-minded people.”
Empower With The Right Tools
Empowering a movement starts with equipping participants with the right tools. The most important tool is training. For instance, what methods should your members use to reach out to the unchurched? How should they welcome them when they decide to visit? How should they answer any questions the unchurched might have?
Of course, the next thing would be ways to actually invite the unchurched to your church. For instance, give everyone invitation cards. Create a shareable link on your website for members to share on their favorite social networks. Set up a website or landing page specifically for the unchurched and have your members direct them there.
When it’s easy to reach out to the unchurched, your members are more likely to make the effort. With incredibly busy schedules, it’s not that your members don’t want to help, they just don’t have the time or energy to always invest hours every week. The proper training and tools makes helping out much easier.
Establish Community Outreach
Now that your movement is starting to get off the ground, it’s time to reach the unchurch on their terms. Establish community outreach programs in your area. Volunteer for local charities or host a booth at a local fair or festival. Reach younger people by advertising a special site or forum where they can anonymously ask questions about religion and the church. Have members volunteer to help monitor the forums and answer questions.
Have Special Events
Sometimes the best way to empower a movement is to get multiple churches involved. After all, it’s not so much about which church the unchurched attend, it’s about guiding them to a loving community where they feel comfortable worshiping. Creating one major event targeted to the unchurched often yields surprising results.
For instance, one community started the Back to Church Sunday challenge. The pastor challenged every member to invite just one unchurched person. News spread and other churches took up the challenge as well. The original church saw attendance jump by 40%. Why? Unchurched people often avoid attending church because they don’t feel welcome, but a friendly invitation makes the finally feel welcome.
Keep your members motivated to continue inviting their unchurched friends, family and co-workers. Take the time to celebrate even the smallest victories. For instance, if you challenge members to invite people to a special event and that leads to new members, take a moment to congratulate your members for reaching out and thank your new members for giving your church a chance.
It might sound simple, but that acknowledgment goes a long way towards motivating your members.
Want to empower a movement of your own? Start by giving members and the unchurched a place to connect on your website.