8 Tips for Inviting People To Church

(and Tips for Those Who Find You Anyway)

Kevin Costner starred in the 1989 film Field of Dreams, chronicling a farmer who heard a mysterious voice saying “If you build it, he will come.” “He” referred to the ghost of a baseball legend, and ultimately fans coming to see games on his farm. It’s a romantic story about following gut instinct and seeing everything magically come together at the end. I love romantic stories and I love seeing the hero win, but things (usually) don’t magically come together. They require a good blend of my hard work and prayers, and God blessing my efforts. Sitting and waiting rarely helps me achieve my goals.

In a way, the same can be said for our Guest Ministries. We can build a great Guest Ministry with awesome volunteers, great giveaways and wonderful follow up, but if we don’t have any guests, our Guest Ministries will never reach their full potential. An integral part of your Guest Ministry strategy should include your process for bringing more guests to your church. Without them, this is all for nothing!

When strategizing for inviting guests to your church, we believe most people fall into two categories: 1) People who are personally invited to church and 2) People who pursue church on their own. While it may seem that an invitation is an invitation, we believe these are two very distinct groups of people with different needs and methods for communication and contact.

People who are personally invited to church
These are the people who know someone who attends your church or are personally engaged by someone who attends your church. They’re likely to be neighbors, friends, coworkers and family members of the people already involved in your church. To invite this group of people, you need to equip people already attending your church with tools and ideas for when and how to invite people, and also what to give out that includes the church service information. Some ideas for this group include:

Start an Acts of Kindness Campaign

Want to make a BIG impact on your community? Encourage members to perform Acts of Kindness for the people around them. Those acts can include paying for gas, buying meals for the car behind you at a restaurant, or picking up the tab for a table with small children in a restaurant. Include an Acts of Kindness invitation card with each act you perform and show people God loves them in tangible ways. CLICK HERE to start your campaign now!

Church Member Events

Empower your small groups to host block parties in the neighborhoods where they meet. A little seed money to help move the process forward is helpful too. When an event is held make sure that your guests feel welcomed and that it isn't purely a "church event". There may be opportunities during this event to invite people to church, but focus more on building relationships with neighbors. More opportunities to talk about God and invite people to church will come up later on in the relationship.

Postcard Handouts

Create postcards highlighting an upcoming series and include them in every bulletin you hand out. Encourage your members to use these cards when inviting people to church.

CLICK HERE to order Postcards


Guest Invitation Cards

Either business card sized, or folding business card sized, these cards should have the universal information a guest would need to know to attend your services (church name, logo, branding, service times, website address, map, etc.).

CLICK HERE to order Invitation Cards


Uniquely Shaped Invitations

Want to do something different? Hand out a hexagon or round shaped card for inviting people. The unusual size and shape merits a second look from people who receive the invitation.

CLICK HERE to order Hexagon Invitations


The central focus of the invitation they receive to attend your church is the basic logistical information about your church. The person doing the inviting will (hopefully) express enthusiasm, excitement and tell the person what the experience will be like.


People who pursue church on their own
This is definitely a different crowd of people. They may not know anyone who attends your church and if they do, that person isn’t directly involved in their pursuit for a church. This group of people could be new to your area, in a new life stage, or seeking spiritual direction in life. Whatever it is, they’re looking for a church “on their own.” (Truth: We know that God is pursuing them and guiding them back to Him, but they don’t have the spiritual discernment yet to know that, so we approach them in ways and places that are compatible with their current secular mindset.) If you want to reach out to this group of people, here are some ways to go where they are:

Website

Make sure you have a great website. Even template based sites are okay, as long as they have up-to-date information, are mobile responsive, help a guest know what to expect, and have clear options for learning more and taking next steps. Equally important as site content, is site visibility. Make sure Google and other top search engines can find your site, and that you rank highly in searches for churches in your city. This is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization).


Postcard Mailing

Having an event at your church, or starting a series that may be very culturally relevant to lost people? (Examples: how to have healthy relationships, parenting when your partner isn’t there, understanding people across the political aisle, caring for the environment, etc.) Send out mass mailings to entire areas inviting them to your service. Make sure your postcards are super engaging, and not full of Christian terms people may not understand (anointed worship, powerful preaching, the Holy Ghost, etc.) CLICK HERE to order Postcards



Social Media Presence

Having a great social media presence both organically (shared posts) and with targeted advertising helps keep your church in front of the people who live or work near your location. You can even target different age groups, genders and interests depending on the goals for your event.




Weekend Parking Lot

Those crazy people in your lot holding signs, wearing safety vests and flagging down cars – they’re great at inviting people to church! Make sure the people nearest the street show enthusiasm for their jobs and wave to cars that are passing by. You never know when someone will decide to come find out what all the excitement is about.



Billboards and Church Signs

Digital billboards and prominent road signs can be a great way to invite people to your special event or service. Make the message simple, bold, and easy to respond to.

CLICK HERE to order Banners and Signs


New Resident Mailing

Did you know you can mail postcards to people who are new to your area? We can provide lists of new residents and even design and mail postcards on your behalf inviting them to your church. While some people are just transplants from different parts of your city, many may be new to the area and looking for a “fresh start” in life. Help them get what they’re looking for in your church!

CLICK HERE to order Postcards


Door Hangers

Door hangers are a GREAT way to engage your members in an outreach event and also create opportunities for relationship building and spiritual encounters with people in your community. 

CLICK HERE to order Door Hangers



As you can see, there are very different methods for inviting these two groups of people to church, and both are equally important. How is your church equipping its members to invite people? How are you engaging the community in a way that makes it easy for people pursuing God to find your church? Let us know if the comments below!