You ask about advertising budget, a subject I like to talk about! Remember first these “truths, which we hold to be self-evident”:
*** Over 80% of guests who visit a church for the first time were invited by a friend.
Nationally that is true.
Therefore we put a lot more effort into helping people realize this fact and make friends of people who do not go to church. Many of the people in our strong churches have very few friends who do not go to church. One reason is that we keep them too busy at the church, and another is that they do not try this hard work.
So happy church attenders are our first priority. If they’re happy and enjoy their church they will talk about it. (Notice I did not just “faithful”
or “saved” church attenders, for some of them are grouchy or only want to talk about politics or hobby horses, and do not represent Christ and the church well.
*** Every church should have events and ministries to get “on the map.” Races or Pickleball or care for single moms or care for people with children of special need. Rest home visits.
*** Churches with bulletin boards outside should make them interesting and not churchy and have phrases that people want to read as they drive by. One of my favorites was there on an August day that reached 101 degrees: “You think this is hot!”
*** Then the smaller outreach budget should go to support local endeavors and to show that you were glad to be a part of the community.
An ad in the Kiwanis magazine, the county fair booth, the Christmas parade display…..
*** Then a small card that a person of the church can give to a friend to invite him or her. I would put a little money into that. Not churchy or trying to convert, just a joyful look at the church and time of services.
*** Then the 15 to 20 second video that you make of the pastor with a smile and a joyful word about a theme or life – something that people can pass on to their friends by way of email or their social media. Too many make these teaching times — great for a different purpose.
You can say a lot in 20 seconds, and not lose attention of someone who did not ask for this!
And smart phones make amazing quality video and audio!
*** Then true PR – a 30-second commercial on local cable TV that reaches your area. You would be good at that. I could help you write them or give you about sample scripts that I have. A third of our church visitors came because of the radio or TV spots. I never asked people to receive Christ as Savior and never invited them to the church. It just was positive and showed that I was excited about who Jesus is and what He can mean in our lives. Go for it!
They were at recognizable sites in the community.
*** Then buy at a good rate an ad in a community paper or neighborhood book of coupons, not a big newspaper that is expensive.
Lincoln would have agreed these truths are self-evident!