Easter Sunday is less than a week away and most churches have already laid out their strategies on how to reach the unchurched and non-believers during arguably the most important Christian holiday.
But in case a little help is still needed, C. Michael Johnson, president of Breakthrough Media, suggests 18 factors that can “really” impact a church or ministry’s Easter outreach efforts in a recent “Mindstorm Idealetter” from Breakthroughchurch.com.
To start off, churches need to set real and specific goals that they are firmly committed to bringing to reality. Next, they need to measure their progress in short increments towards reaching the goals. So whether the goal is to see the church packed with 500 people or to transform congregants, the planning committee needs to first set a goal.
Friendship is another key factor. Johnson reminds church and ministry leaders that the goal of marketing, in the simplest term, is to develop conversations and create friends. The Kingdom is “all about” friends – “finding friends, being a friend, leading friends to be friends of God.” He suggests churches plan and measure how they are making progress with the friend factor.
After working on the friendship factor, churches need to be prepared to answer the relevancy question – “why should I give you the time of day?” People have spiritual needs and the church should find creative ways to promote how they can help meet these needs for non-churchgoers. The Easter program should not just focus on “us” if the church plans to use the service as an outreach opportunity, but make sure that it stays relevant to even newcomers.
Once the unchurched arrives for the service, Christians need to use the language of dreams to explain what they believe in and invite the visitor to participate in the dream of God for this world.
“The language of dreams (purpose, identity, passion, heart) defines the most relevant, responsive message you can ever use to build lasting relationships with the unchurched,” Johnson wrote, noting that God “wired us” to dream.
Jesus wants to come into their heart and Christians should work with the Holy Spirit which has already been working on them to bring them to God, he added.
“Combine the Friend Goal with the Dream Goal and you have the basis of what we call a ‘Community of Dreams,’ which is a pretty good definition of a church,” Johnson wrote, “a community of friends nurturing and releasing God’s dreams into their transforming place in the world.”
Churches are also encouraged to move away from predictability and include an unexpected factor in their program. The Breakthrough Media president noted that Jesus in his days did the unexpected and even surprised his mom.
Other helpful suggestions to improve church outreach include raising awareness about the church, using word-of-mouth church marketing, delivering a good community experience, and following-through with trying to bring people to Christ.
Easter is a rare occasion when many non-churchgoers open themselves up briefly to the Gospel and hearing about the life of Jesus Christ. Churches, as a result, should take advantage of this precious opportunity to reintroduce or introduce someone for the first time to the Gospel and the core tenets of Christianity – the cross, the resurrection, and salvation through Jesus Christ.
18 Factors to Impact Easter Outreach:
1. Goal Factor
2. Friend Factor
3. Relevancy Factor
4. Dream Factor
5. Media Factor
6. Unexpected Factor
7. Awareness Factor
8. Viral Factor
9. Experience Factor
10. Harvest Factor
11. Time Factor
12. Development Factor
13. Numbers Factor
14. Synergy Factor
15. Trust Factor
16. Withreach Factor
17. Community Factor
18. Body Factor