February 26, 2024

3 Strategies Every Church Needs to Reach New People

3 strategies every church needs to reach new people

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Post-2020, pastors and leaders have sensed a shifting in ministry strategies. The most significant of those may be how we’re connecting new people to our churches. 

The methods we used to use to reach people don’t seem to be working, and for some churches, haven’t been for some time. 

Here are three key strategies every church needs to connect people to the faith and the church.

A Strategy to Mobilize People to Reach Other People

This is the original strategy for reaching new people—the one Jesus gave us. Whatever this looks like for your church, it needs to be connected to your discipleship path

It’s not enough just to encourage people to engage in a missions experience or in outreach projects. 

What’s more important is that you coach, encourage, and inspire people to engage in a strategy to reach their neighbors right where they already are. 

At the end of the day, this is really the priority that we need to be embracing—not only as churches discipling people, but as Christ-followers living out the mission God’s called us to. 

(For an idea on how to get started, check out this episode on 5 Practices for Blessing & Reaching People Outside the Church).

A Strategy for Weekend Services

Your Sunday services may not be enough to help someone who is far from God cross the line of faith or connect with your church. But, according to what Paul said to the church of Corinth, we should anticipate unbelievers joining us in our worship gatherings. 

We need to design our services with them in mind.  We recommend reviewing your messages (or having an outsider do so) and answering these questions to evaluate for applicability:

  • Did the message provide ways to apply God’s word to everyday life?
  • Was I challenged to believe, think or do something differently?
  • Was it applicable to both Christians and first-time attendees?
  • Was it memorable
  • Was the takeaway/next step clear?

We also need to reframe our weekend services as a next step rather than a first step for most people. And when we’re designing next steps for new people, we have to create steps that are low committal and low relational enough that they can take it. 

Every time we can create one step for someone to take, it will give them courage to take a deeper step and finally become connected to the life of the church.

Reaching & Connecting New People in 2024

At this free webinar, the Unstuck team & special guests will walk through proven strategies and best practices for creating intentional weekend services that reach and connect with new people.

A Strategy for Digital Ministry

This is the new front door and the primary way we connect with people who are currently not interested in faith or are spiritually curious. 

But just because your service is online doesn’t mean you have an effective digital strategy to reach people outside the faith and outside the church… You just have an online service.

Rather than expecting people to engage with the online versions of our in-person experiences, we’ll need to clarify who we are trying to reach and then design an entirely new digital strategy to engage that person. It needs to be a strategy designed specifically for an online audience.

Rather than expecting someone who’s not interested in faith to watch or attend a service as their first step, the digital strategy needs to offer smaller first steps. 

Our digital strategy will need to be designed around who we’re trying to reach and what’s currently most important to them: What are the opportunities they’re facing in their life? What are the challenges they’re facing in their life? What are the real needs that we as a church can hopefully address to encourage them to take a next step towards the Gospel?

We will need to nurture connection, engagement and relationship online before they’re willing to connect with our church in person.

Without a mobilization strategy, there will be a lack of relationships, conversations, and invitations to take next steps.

Without a weekend services strategy, you’ll be missing out on creating a critical environment for people to take that final step of moving from being spiritually curious to actually becoming a disciple of Jesus. 

Without a digital strategy, you really won’t have a front door available to people outside the faith and outside the church in the first place.

It’s 2024. You can’t just pick one or two. You need all three strategies if you are going to effectively reach new people.

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. Started in 2009, The Unstuck Group has served 500 churches throughout the United States and several countries around the world. Previously, Tony served on the senior leadership teams of three rapidly growing churches including NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has five published books including, The Unstuck Church, and, with Amy Anderson, he hosts The Unstuck Church Podcast which has thousands of listeners each month.

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