One of the most valued pieces of church planting is often lost in the hustle and bustle of setting up and taking down, but when its discovered it’s like heaven on earth. I’m talking about visibility. Nothing takes the place of visibility for a church planter’s success. A planter lives and dies on visibility.
Visibility is acheived in at least four different ways.
- A good location provides visibility. Even if you meet in a school you need to find ways to use the location to create visibility, for example, talking the school administration into letting you put out your sign on Friday evening rather than waiting till early Sunday morning when there is little traffic. Another way is tag teaming with the school to provide tutoring or big brother opportunities, or cleaning or painting the school. The word gets out – the church is investing in our school.
- The pastor spending 70% of his or her time in the community pressing the flesh creates visibility. If a planter is effectively meeting 50 or more new people every week, the odds are some of them are going to show up at worship. When I replanted, I made it a point to meet at least 75 people a week. So be sure to have church business cards to put in the hands of everyone you meet. Make mental notes about those who show interest and get back to them any way you can. Set aside regular time each day to be out among the public.
- The congregation out among the public inviting anyone they meet, especially their networks, creates visibility. They should have church business cards to give to everyone they feel comfortable with. Encourage your core team to do a backyard barbecue every month, invite the neighborhood, and have literature available about the church. Schedule “taste and see” events where your core team connects with unchurched people on a regular basis. Do weekly Servant Evangelism events in the community. And never forget: new converts are more likely to have connections with unchurched people than already converted church members. So the more people you actually lead to Christ, the more likely your plant is to explode with growth.
- Advertising creates visibility. If you are renting an office, get rid of it and use the money for advertising all kinds. It’s rare you will meet new people in your office. Advertising comes in many packages – direct mail, billboards, website, door hangers, getting the press to cover any of the off-the-wall events and servant programs you’re doing, just to name a few.
You have to create visibility, or your plant will never get off the ground. The moment you stop worrying about this is the moment your decline begins.
Question: How are you creating visibility? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.