Seventeen Simple Things
Here are 17 suggestions for simple straightforward inexpensive obvious things which any church could do to help its mission, outreach, evangelism and community involvement.
Days of prayer and nights of prayer and weeks of prayer and prayer walking. “Asking is the rule of the kingdom.” (Spurgeon)
- Offer prayer
“What can I pray for you?” Offer prayer to contacts and the community. (Thanks to Rich Blake-Lobb for this idea.)
- A Church Mobile Phone
A simple Pay As You Go mobile phone for incoming voicemails and texts giving a long-term number which does not change with personnel and you are happy to publicise very widely. Budget £10 to buy (or a free SIM card with somebody’s old phone) plus £10 per year.
- A Church Website
A simple attractive web site with a memorable web address publicizing the church’s street address and postcode (for SatNav) mobile phone number, days and times of main activities, details of special events and seeker-friendly information about the Christian faith. Budget £50 per year.
- A Church Facebook Group
Better than a Facebook Page to communicate information and build community. Budget: free.
Use targeted Facebook adverts to publicise the Group and the website address at the same time as an invitation to a specific special event. Budget £10 per campaign.
- A Welcome Leaflet
A simple attractive leaflet about the church to give to everybody who visits services or regular activities. Featuring the web address, Facebook Group, mobile number, details of activities which are unlikely to change, introduction to the minister and to the Christian faith. Budget £50 for 500.
- A Special “Guest Service and a Special Midweek Event
At least one of each every year – occasions where visitors and guests and expected and warmly invited. Each gives Christians an opportunity to talk to their friends, neighbours and colleagues about Jesus and to invite them to a Christian occasion.
- A Seasonal Giveaway
A faith-sharing gift to give to anybody who comes to special services or events e.g. a New Testament (£1), an evangelistic DVD (50p) or your own book “The Difference Jesus Makes.” Budget £50.
- “The Difference Jesus Makes”
A simple booklet specific to your own church combining testimonies of members’ own experiences with explanations of the Christian faith. Give away at special events and for members to give to their friends, neighbours and colleagues especially if it contains their own testimony. Easily photocopied or professionally printed relatively cheaply in quantities. Budget £50 for 100.
- A Christmas Card to Deliver
A Card from the church with a Christian image on the front containing a Christmas message, details of regular services and activities, website address and mobile number and offer of your “seasonal giveaway”. Delivered to all the homes in your target community. Budget £55 for 1000.
- Invitation Cards/Flyers
A5 Flyers or A6 Cards for special events (see 4) to give to all church contacts (for members to give to their friends, neighbours and colleagues and to give to all attendees of regular activities). Budget £10 for 200.
Seasonal or Invitation A3 Posters (linked to items 6 and 9 and to 10) for local community noticeboards and shop windows and for windows of members’ homes. Budget £10 for 20.
- Use Local Media
Make full use of local press, community directories and websites, “what’s on” pages etc. All free. (Thanks to Rich Blake-Lobb for this idea.)
- Refreshments on every occasion
At least at every main service and whenever guests and visitors are invited, generous hospitality (better than they were expecting) gives opportunity for conversations and building relationships.
- Interior Displays
Purposeful noticeboards with clear headings, bright, attractive and informative and refreshed regularly. Some Christian images and texts to provoke thought and stimulate conversations. Budget £20. (Thanks to Steff Rooney for this idea.)
- An Attractive Modern Exterior Sign
Showing the church name, web address, mobile phone number and time of main meeting(s) in a modern font easily readable by passers-by. Budget: this one might cost some money but it will be worth it because it shows that the church is actually still open.
- Try Something New
In addition to all the above, every year attempt at least one new thing the church has never done before in mission, outreach, evangelism or community involvement!
Baptist Collaboration in Action
Some of these 17 simple things may nevertheless be hard to do for some churches because they do not have people with the necessary skills (running a website or Facebook Group, or desktop publishing for leaflets and posters). Others may be hard because the church has very few people (delivering lots of leaflets). Although all these things (apart from one) could be done for £325 in the first year and under £200 in subsequent years, for some churches finance may be the limiting factor.
If a larger church were prepared to provide skills, person-power and finance to help a small church achieve these 17 simple things, both would be greatly enriched!