How To Grow A Rural Church When Marketing Hasn’t Worked

Thomas Costello Leave a Comment

In today’s episode, we’re tackling a question from one of our listeners who’s facing the challenges of growing their small, rural church on a tight budget.

They’ve tried various marketing strategies, but they just haven’t been clicking with their community. So, we’re here to provide some fresh ideas that are tailored to the unique challenges of rural churches.

From community outreach programs to local SEO and personal invitations, we’ll discuss four budget-friendly marketing ideas that can help your rural church connect with the community and grow.

How Do I Grow A Rural Church?

We’ve been struggling to grow our small, rural church and the marketing we have been trying has not seemed to work well in our area. We’re on a tight budget, so could you recommend marketing ideas that might be more successful in connecting with people in our community?

Community Outreach Programs:

Establish programs or events that benefit your local community. These could include food drives, clothing donations, or free workshops on various topics such as financial planning or parenting. By offering valuable resources and services, you can showcase your church’s commitment to the community and attract potential members who share the same values.

Local SEO:

Optimize your church’s online presence for local search results by claiming and updating your Google My Business listing, ensuring your website has accurate and up-to-date contact information, and including relevant keywords and location information in your website’s content. Encourage your congregation to leave positive reviews on your Google listing and other review sites. This will help your church rank higher in local search results and make it easier for people in your community to find you.

Utilize Social Media and Local Media:

Create engaging content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to share updates, events, and inspiring messages. Encourage members to share posts and invite their friends to church events. Additionally, reach out to local newspapers, radio stations, or community websites to submit articles or announcements about your church’s activities. These methods can help you connect with potential members and increase your visibility within the community.

Personal Invitations and Testimonials:

Encourage your existing members to personally invite their friends, family, and acquaintances to church events or services. Personal recommendations can be highly effective in rural communities where word-of-mouth is essential. You can also collect and share testimonials from members who have had positive experiences at your church, highlighting the impact your church has on individuals and the community.

Stats to Consider

  1. According to a Pew Research Center study conducted in 2018, 79% of rural Americans use the internet, with 71% of them using social media. This highlights the importance of having an online presence and utilizing social media platforms to connect with people in rural communities (Source: Pew Research Center).
  2. In a study conducted by LifeWay Research in 2016, they found that small churches in rural areas that utilized social media saw an increase in attendance of 1.6% compared to a 0.5% increase in churches that did not use social media (Source: LifeWay Research).
  3. A Barna Group study from 2016 found that 46% of churchgoers first heard about their current church through a personal invitation from a friend or family member. This emphasizes the importance of word-of-mouth marketing and personal invitations in rural communities (Source: Barna Group).

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How To Grow A Rural Church When Marketing Hasn't Worked

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