Every now and again, I’ll get a door-hanger hung on my door. Most of the time they’re advertisements for take-out pizza or Chinese. However, once upon a time, there’d be an ad for something a local church was doing. To be honest, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen either. I suspect it’s because door hangers aren’t exactly cheap and they’re not labor efficient.
Which can be a good thing for us. In a culture where we’re bombarded with hundreds of online and television advertising, it’s become relatively easy to tune-out and try to ignore it all. But it’s much more difficult to tune-out a medium that has little or no competition. And the “door hangers” idea has some merit.
A couple years ago, I met ELCA Pastor Ted Carnahan at the Spirit of Grace Church in Holdrege, Nebraska. In our conversations, I learned about how they were letting the community know about upcoming events at the church. They’d tried door hangers, but the stiff Nebraska prairie winds kept blowing them off of the door handles – never mind that many door handles today aren’t round, so the cardstock door hangers were often difficult to leave. Pastor Ted is a gifted creative and he discovered that 4X6 Post-It notes were easy to distribute and they tenaciously held on in the face of the wind. Beyond that, he discovered he could create a custom flier and that PaperDirect.com could print them for way less than the cost of door hangers. It was win-win all the way.
That said, one of the ways you can help grow your church is to let folks in your neighborhood and beyond know about upcoming events at your church using custom-printed Post-It notes. It’s easy to do and not terribly expensive (though as ideas go in this book, this is probably the more expensive one, though it has excellent potential for evoking attention to your church’s event). PaperDirect.com was able to print 300 copies of a 4X6 flier for about 17¢ each.
To engage this idea, begin by choosing an upcoming event from your church’s calendar. If your pastor preaches series, you might want to check to see what’s coming up. The printing has about a two-week lag time, so be sure to chose an event that’s at least a month out. If you’re able to create your own 4X6 image digitally, then by all means get creative. Remember to include the church’s critical contact information – name of the church, address, and web address – on the flier. And of course, include the event and the date. If you’re not terribly talented at digital design, ask your youth leader if they have a youth who has that kind of talent … even a very small youth group probably has someone who could whip this out in just a few minutes. Alternatively, your church office might already have a graphic for the event that you could use. It never hurts to ask!
Once you’ve got your flier digitally designed, head over to PaperDirect.com and do a search for “Large Post-It add your own design.” They have great instructions on the site to get you all set up and ready to go. Once you’ve proofed and approved the flier, it takes about two weeks for them to get it from their printing plant to your house. From there, it’s just a matter of getting the 300 fliers distributed – and the good news is that it’s easy. Just walk up to a house, peel off the flier, and stick it to the door.
You’ll want to be strategic about which neighborhood/s you deliver the fliers to. For instance, if your church is hosting an Easter egg hunt for kids, there’s not a lot of sense in putting fliers on the doors at a senior living complex. Yes, there are residents who have connections with grandchildren, but you’re much more likely to reach a greater number of families if you put them on homes and apartment doors near elementary schools.
Finally, it can be pretty time consuming to deliver 300 fliers. Of course, if you take walks regularly, you might enjoy taking the time to walk the neighborhoods. (And while you do, you might as well practice Prayer Walking as you go – see Chapter 27.) However, if time is of the essence or you’re just not that into walking, then it’s time to call in some reinforcements! If you have a large family, you can probably press them into service, but there are other groups that it might be more advantageous to recruit. For instance, your small group might be willing to help. Your church’s youth leader may be willing for the youth to take it on as a project. If your church has an active outreach or mission’s team, they may see this as a worthy mission. And if your church has an evangelism team, they’ll probably jump at the chance to get out there and share the church’s witness. And of course, there’s the old “I’m hosting a barbeque for those willing to help” gambit!
In the end, with 300 fliers delivered to 300 homes, it’s pretty certain that most of them will at least get a look because there’s so little “competition” in the door-to-door kind of marketing.
Even In Today’s Malaise, You Can Increase Your First-Time Visitor Count
You’ve probably heard all the doom and gloom – the church is a dying institution.
And yet, at last count, nearly 10 percent of US churches are growing … thriving. And they don’t all have smoke machines and blackout curtains (though many do!).
The first step to growing your church is getting first-time visitors through the door.
The Pastor’s Get More Visitors Checklist includes:
- Three Strategies: Giving you options for your context
- Three Tool Kits: One for each strategy so you have the tools you need
- Three How-To’s: So you can get into action and start seeing results as soon as this weekend
Grab the Get More Visitors Checklist now and transform your church starting today!