Church Branding: The Weekly Electronic Newsletter
I already know that you gawked at the title of this post: A WEEKLY newsletter? Who the heck has the time? Why weekly? What do you put in it? How does that apply when you’re small? What if you’re really small and just starting out?
I know the concern you have about being small all too well. I’ve been part of churches that have thousands of people in the congregation each month, and those that have a handful meeting in the living room of someone’s house each week. What I’ve noticed is that the ones that make decisions based on the direction they want to grow in, versus the size they’re starting out at, grow the quickest.
Now, before we get off on a tangent with growth let me say this: I think growth is an expected part of ministry, and I think it’s partially measured in numbers. New people should be coming in those doors, otherwise, you run the risk of just being a “nice little support group.”
That being said, I’ve seen that ministry leaders that move and motivate their peers in an organized, or at the very least, consistent way do well in building a spirit of community and shared mission. One of the best ways I know how to do this is with a weekly newsletter delivered to an inbox.
The advantage of that is that it can go to your members, friends, friends of friends, etc. When I was new to New York back in 1995 I found it very hard to make friends. I had 3 of them, and neither of them went to church. I also had a friend who did go to church but didn’t see their culture as being one I could really learn and grow in so I called up a friend. My friend Ony lived in NASHVILLE, TN and I called her to ask her if she had friends in New York City that went to church.
Imagine that. She was hundreds of miles away. She’s never lived in New York and yet, when I had an urge to seek God I called on her to connect me to “a friend of a friend” to make it happen. She did. I went… and the rest is history.
That’s the beauty of technology. You can keep people in the loop while also building strong and solid relationships. To keep this post from being 5 pages long I’m going to break it into segments. Today’s segment will simply get your juices flowing. Here’s the homework I’d like you to do: Consider from the list below the categories you can imagine your church newsletter using to start a weekly update. Next week we’ll dive further into how to get this thing going.
Newsletter Category ideas:
- Message of Encouragement/Welcome
- Upcoming Events/calendar (social, church, etc)
- Community Service Opportunities
- New Members
- Prayer Request (link to form or email for submissions)
- Ways to give
- Upcoming sermon topic or series discussion
- Bible Reading Plan (scriptures, etc)
- Hours for service
- Kids ministry highlights
- Resources and Recommendations
- Seasonal News/Inserts
Those are the topics I come up with from the top of my head (where did that saying come from?) and I’m sure you can think of more. If you already have a newsletter, share the link in the comments below. If you can think of some other topics, share that as well. We’re all on the same mission!
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