Although that may seem obvious (like, “good one Captain Obvious”), and you may think you’re promoting early enough and often enough, it’s very possible that just like us you need to rethink your timeline.
Here are four keys you might need to incorporate:
Think about the way major movies are promoted
Think about the way major movies are promoted. That’s right. If you think about how Batman or Star Wars is promoted, you’ll likely come away with an idea or two.
For example, movies like Star Wars and Batman are first promoted very early with a trailer. It might be as simple as a single slide, “The Dark Knight Rises. Coming Soon.”
But the trailer runs months (and often a year) early.
Use multiple methods of promoting the campaign
Use multiple methods of promoting the campaign. In addition to promoting inside your auditorium, use the weekend program, website, church-wide emails, invite cards, and social media.
What begins months earlier (we begin promoting our fall church-wide campaign in late spring) with a single slide in the preservice slide loop accelerates to become everywhere by the end of the summer.
Keep your small group leaders in the loop
Keep your existing small group leaders in the loop. In fact, bring these leaders into the loop early. A “leader briefing” in late spring will help your group leaders communicate with group members about plans for the fall.
The leader briefing can be as simple as 15 minutes between the 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. services. A little vision from your senior pastor, a handout with the important dates of the campaign, and a 2 or 3 minute excerpt from the DVD will go a long way in helping your leaders get on board early.
Promote every phase separately over multiple weekends
Promote every phase over multiple weekends. When you’re recruiting hosts (“If you have a couple friends you’d like to do the study with…”) be sure and set aside three weekends when you’re only recruiting hosts (and not members).
Three weekends enables you to make the host ask to as many infrequent attenders as possible. A single weekend approach ensures that you only reach a very narrow slice.
When you’re recruiting members to join a group, you’ll want to make that ask over several weekends too. “If you want to get everything possible out of the message series this fall, you need to be part of a six-week group that is using the study that goes along with the weekend message series.”
Keep promoting opportunities to join in after the series begins
Keep promoting opportunities to join in after the series begins. Keep in mind that your infrequent attenders may hear about your church-wide campaign in its very first weekend (or the second). If you want to engage as many unconnected people as possible, keep inviting participation even after the message series begins.
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Image by Henry Burrows