Teddy Towncrier's Web Oasis.

November 21, 2008

Whose fault is it your church is 75% empty?

Filed under: Uncategorized — teddytowncrier @ 1:37 pm
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Our Anglican (Episcopalian) church had some challenges and the Diocese was threatening to sell our building, too.

The building was worth a million dollars and even though the congregation had paid for it …. The Diocese owned the building.

This church motto was “Serving for 150 years” and they really did serve many needs of the community.

It seems to me that many churches haven’t clarified “Who are we serving? … Church members or the community?”   Since communities are constantly changing … It might be a good idea to appeal to and serve the community or attendance will continue to shrink as members move away.

7 years ago;   During the service; A call came for participation in a membership drive and I attended.

Being ‘an outsider’;    I considered it prudent to ask carefully considered questions rather than swamp the establishment with ideas and when called upon;   My question was “Has anyone attended a Congregation Building Workshop”? …. Silence … then a meek “No”.

Second time around my statement was to the effect that we needed a “Wow Project” which would get us some press. ….. The consensus was that the press weren’t interested in church news! … My retort was “That’s not true!” and awaited requests for ideas to change that. … Instead I received an email to the effect that ” I’ve never been called a liar in all my years service to this community”.

My changing community is a pearl in the necklace of Metropolitan Toronto.    Only 10 minutes from the downtown bright lights & corporate towers. … Yet we enjoy Lakeside Parks, swimming pools , kids playing hockey in the streets and the neighbours know and support each other.     We’re a community that’s growing from the influx of many young families all of which are computer savvy and have at least one computer.     To visit us   Click Here


Here’s what I had up my sleeve ….. The 1st Baptist of Barrington, IL were close to the interstate and had installed a WiFi Hotspot.     I recall reading that this was a major factor in this church’ success since it clearly conveyed an impression of a progressive church. … I had one in my back pocket and would have been glad to donate it but elected to keep quiet about it..     (Do you think a press release about a church WiFi spot and a few phone calls to reporters would get us some local and possibly international, press? …. Of course it would; WiFi being a novelty 7 yrs ago).

Hidden Bright idea No2. ….. Offer all the members a church based email address (I.E. Teddytowncrier@bigchurch.com)    When I enquired;   The church webmaster informed me the reason that only 2 email addresses were available from their ISP is because “That’s all we need”. …. Case & mind closed.

Hidden Bright idea No3. ….. Emulate the big advertisers and install bumper stickers on 1,000 cars in the community …. “My kids & support go to Http://bigchurch.com”    (Offer the children a prize for who can install most bumper stickers ).

Hidden Bright idea No4. ….. Fire the treasurer’s nephew as webmaster and create an Internet Presence that oozes excitement and motivates readers to come & worship with us.      (On every page; Include a mailing list subscribe and a link to the events calendar).

Hidden Bright idea No5. ….. Our priest had been ill for an extended period and was not returning.  The fill in priest had a wonderful presence and I approached him with the idea of him being the star in our “Welcome video” on the Home page. ….. The idea went to committee and you can image what happened.     If he had declined …. I’d have leaned on some actor friends and do an even better job .. for free.

Hidden Bright idea No6. ….. Web calendar that showcases Church events and activities.

Hidden Bright idea No7. ….. Half the world is single!   What does your singles ministry look like to some-one browsing your site?   Hate to brag but ours was so successful that we were drawing members from other major churches.   (Eastern Airlines even donated a 1011 to us for the evening.     and …Yes! It did create some buzz ).


Here’s my question for you:    If you were new to the community and seeking a spiritual home. … Would you prefer to spend your precious time and money driving to all the local churches?  Or;  Invest an evening on the net and see what the local churches are made of?

We only get one chance at a first impression and another limp handshake and weak smile in the narthex comes a poor second to a high energy Internet Showcase for those who are really seeking a spiritual home for their family.


Bestest.



Teddy Towncrier CPP Towncrier-Media.com Supercharging Your Visions.

    

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2 Comments »

  1. honestly, finding a “church home” takes much more than a simple web search. Unless, of course, there’s an active community of people on a discussion group, actively organizing community and service events.

    You can put anything you want on a web site. Until I meet you and can sense for myself that you walk your talk, it’s all web fluff.

    The marketing ideas are cool, but they’re marketing. People aren’t buying anything from a church. Please don’t forget that.

    And, no, 1.5 years later, we still haven’t found a church.

    Comment by Christy — November 21, 2008 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  2. Dear Teddy:

    I enjoyed your post about marketing one’s church. Your blog pointed out a missing ingredient at many churches today — lack of relevant ministries and culture.

    I thought all your ideas were excellent. People do “shop” churches, as it were. Yes, you need to “see, touch and feel” the church, but how the church communicates and markets tells you a lot, as well.

    Comment by Paula — December 7, 2008 @ 12:09 am | Reply


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