02 Nov, 2015 Three keys to a powerful promotion
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Hi Pastor or Church Leader
One of the key elements of this outreach mobilisation strategy for Churches is regular promotion. If we do not remind people of the importance of outreach, and of how they could realistically apply lessons learnt in their daily lives, it is only natural that they will forget and do very little.
Changing the culture of an organisation is one of the toughest things any leader is called to do. Culture is entrenched. It is self-sustaining, self-replicating and it is sometimes self-protecting. Yet culture can be changed.
The biggest key to leading changes – in my view – is to help the vision of the new way of thinking and acting to become larger in people’s minds than their visoin of the current way of thinking and acting. When we can see that the benefits of the new way outweigh the benefits of the current way – we’ll be willing.
However, at the beginning of a process, the current way is before our eyes every day, while the new way is nothing more than a vision in our minds. So, change takes leadership!
It is a leadership principle that we get what we promote – so knowing how to bring about a change isn’t really all that difficult. We simply need to promote it! What is difficult is coming to a place of personal conviction from which we will remember promote it consistently. However, lets assume that we have this conviction that our members absolutely must be mobilised to their mission as witnesses (or have established habits that help us achieve this)… here are three keys to an effective promotion:
Get their attention first
While it sounds like we’re stating the obvious, this simple point is easily forgotten. You do know that during our church services many people go into auto-pilot mode? They stand and sit at the correct times, smile, nod, and – as disturbing as it might be– sometimes even their laughs at our jokes are auto-pilate reactions, while they’re thinking about something else.
The first challenge for any communicator is to get the attention of those they are talking with. This is why successful communication always takes work. It’s not just about preparing the content. It’s about preparing the attitude and heart from which we communicate it.
For example: ‘Who here would like ten dollars?’ That will get the attention of half of them – and then you could get the attention of the rest by actually giving the $10 away.
Now that you have their attention, what are you going to say?
Sell the purpose (connect with their hearts)
One of the greatest pitfalls in doing the announcements in your church is to mistakenly think they are about passing on information. They are not! They are about passing on vision. They are about setting and clarifying the groups directions.
Certainly there are details involved. But the information will accomplish very little until there is a connection with the heart. In fact, I put to you that a good leader could lead the directions of an entire Church without ever preaching – simply through doing the weekly announcements: casting vision, motivating hearts and moving people to action.
The principle is that we must always promote purpose over program.
This is 80% of what effective promotion is about. To illustrate, if you tell me I need to read my Bible, all you’ve done is tell me one more thing I need to fit into my already busy day. You haven’t really helped me. But if you could tell a story and help me feel something of just how much God loves me, and then you tell me of a time when God spoke to you through the Bible and how that affected your life, you could touch my heart and inspire my faith. And then you could say, ‘Why don’t you read your Bible?’ And I’ll say, ‘What a great idea! Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?’
If we want to encourage people to engage those around them in spiritual conversations, we need to connect them to God’s heart for the lost first!
Only then sell the program, explaining their specific next step (connect it with their hands)
In some contemporary marketing circles this is called ‘stickiness’. If we don’t give people the next thing they can do, our entire promotion can fall over – no matter how compelling it was.
For example, you say to your guests at a service, ‘Please stay for a coffee afterwards – we’d love to get to know you!’ But you forget to tell them where the coffee is being served, and it is in a peculiar corner of the Church.
You motivate your members to sign up for a camp – but fail to give a form of some kind on which they can indicate that they will attend.
You motivate people to give money to a cause – but then fail to tell them how or where they could give that money after the service.
Our promotions won’t be sticky (won’t lead to the desired results) unless we explain specifically the next needed action steps. We need to join the dots. And – to illustrate with regard to outreach, this needs to be a lot more specific than saying, ‘We need to share our faith’. We need to get people to think about the individual person they could encourage that week.
Application: How does this relate to All Together Consulting?
…which is encouraging you to build an authentic and active culture of conversational outreach in your local church? Well, every month we are encouraging you to have a testimony in which someone shares about spiritual conversation they engaged. This models the kind of outreach we are encouraging. But the point isn’t just the modelling. This is your platform to get up there and promote a value, or to remind your members of a lesson that’s been taught.
Pastor – doing this each month is really important, because we get what we promote. Month-by-month, if we do this, it will build momentum. Month-by-month, if we do not, the lessons and values we have taught will be forgotten, and their sustained application will not take place.
So invite members to share testimonies about opportunities they have created to taken to engage people in conversations about spiritual things. And then stand up and reinforce a value. For example: “Thanks for that testimony John. Wasn’t that a great, folks! What a great illustration of how, by simply asking caring questions, we can get to engage a conversation in which we can encourage faith! When did you last stop to really listen to someone? Who could you stop to ask a caring question this week – and then give some time, to listen to their reply? That’s what it’s all about. We don’t have to preach at people. Sometimes, all we have to do is ask a caring question – and give them some time, and the opportunities will open up by themselves. Think for a moment. Who could you ask a caring question this week? Lets pray…”
Pastor – that’s the kind of encouragement your members need, month-by-month.
And if you will do it, it will help you build a culture of active outreach – and that will yeild results!
May the Lord make you effective in making your members effective!