If I invite someone over to my house they typically come to the front door. That door represents the entry way into my home – the primary path that a first-time visitor will usually take.
In the same way that homes need entry ways, churches need “doors.” Churches need places where new people can enter. We need easy, non-threatening, clear, and inviting entry ways where unchurched people can find their way in.
The local church where I serve as the senior pastor has five “doors” to help people enter. Let me explain the doors and then make a comment or two to help you maximize the doors you have in your church.
1. Personal Invitation: The most effective door into our church is when someone makes a personal invitation to another person. Nothing is more important in reaching people for Christ than a personal invite. A simple “come and see” invitation is our number one method for reaching people.
2. Servant Projects: An act of kindness can go a long way in reaching people for Christ. Activities like passing out water bottles, serving a meal, or cleaning up a yard can be tools God uses to influence a person to check out church. Simply paying for someone’s meal has been a an act of service I’ve used many times to encourage someone to visit our church. There are more ideas in our free e-book download you can find here, Doing Ministry Together.
3. Special Days or Events: There are certain days on the calendar that are built in times to invite people to church. People are much more likely to visit a church on Easter or Christmas than any other time of the year. It’s simply makes sense to leverage these times of the year. Even the fall when school starts back and the new year are strategic times to be reaching out to people.
4. Small Groups: At times we hold small group meetings in a home on practical topics, invite neighbors to attend. Our most popular home outreach has been a marriage group. We spend about five weeks discussing marriage and it is amazing how many unchurched people are willing to come to someone’s home before they come to a church.
5. Marketing and Advertising: One of the most efficient ways to invite people to your church is by using social media and email marketing. These are things like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, email lists, and at times, direct mail pieces. This is the world we are living in, and connecting online is the first step many people take before ever waking through a physical door.
With these five doors in mind, let me leave you with a few important factors in making them work:
First, every door requires an invitation. Jesus started a movement with three words, “Come and see.” These same three words must be used with every method you choose to reach people.
Second, people, not programs, reach people. The human equation is the key to every door of outreach. Every marketing piece ought to appeal to the needs of the person you are trying to reach.
Third, making disciples begins with reaching people. The first step to becoming a fully trained disciple starts with an invitation and a conversation about Jesus. Never forget that Jesus came to “seek and save the lost.”
Impact Discipleship Ministries exists to inspire people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. Contact us for more information on our resources, training, and consulting. impactdisciples.com