When we think of church growth strategies we tend to imagine marketing plans and hired consultants. But there are a number of very simple things any congregation can do that will make a huge difference. And they don’t require any clergy involvement or probably permission.
In a series on “Internal church marketing” the “CMS” blog gives a list of simple things that welcome and invite newcomers into the congregation’s community:
“Hopefully your church staff does a lot to make that experience worthwhile. But there’s also a lot the person in the pew can do to supplement what’s already being done. And in some cases, there are things the lay person needs to do that a staff just can’t.
This should go without saying, but it still needs to be said: Be friendly. Perhaps the single greatest thing the average person in the pew can do to bring people back to their church is simply being friendly to the people in the pews around them. Say hello. Introduce yourself. Actually remember their name. If you see somebody new at church, welcome them. If you see someone looking lost, help them out. If you see somebody who looks a little uncomfortable, try to put them at ease. You don’t have to be over the top (and that can scare people away), but be kind. This doesn’t exactly qualify as marketing, but in a way it is. It’s part of your church’s image. And hopefully it goes deeper than that. Friendship is one of the main things that keeps people in church.”
More here. Some of the other points talk about name tags, coffee hour, doing introductions, etc.
There’s a congregation here in Arizona that has been struggling for years but about a year ago the Sr. Warden of the congregation decided that it was time this church did something about growth. Because the wardens decided to act and implemented many of these suggestions, the church is in the midst of a major turnaround. When the laity decide that things have to change, they change.