The new year is three weeks old, but it’s not too late to take stock of and plan for the days ahead. It’s why your gym is more crowded from January through March!
Yearning for spiritual well-being is a common new year goal that offers churches an ideal springboard for reaching out into their community. Consider these ideas and adopt one as a new marketing opportunity for your church.
Promote a sermon series that echoes the moment
Craft a sermon or lesson series that capitalizes on the start-afresh, kickstart feelings of the new year. Look for a theme that speaks to re-evaluation and change. Talk about rebooting your life, taking a spiritual health check and what it means to be spiritually fit in today’s world.
Lean into the connection of body and soul
People sign up in droves for fitness, yoga, therapeutic massage and meditation sessions at local gyms. Churches are ideally equipped to help members exercise the communion of body and soul through Christian Yoga classes, exercise, retreats and other similar programs.
Is a member qualified as a fitness trainer, instructor or massage therapist? Offer an unused Sunday school classroom or the fellowship hall for (free or discounted) morning sessions twice a week. Once you’ve secured the instructor, don’t forget to promote sessions available to your community on Facebook.
Support financial health
Debt and personal finance top a lot of resolutions. Nothing could be more spiritual. Author and pastor Mike Slaughter notes that 40% of Jesus’ teaching was about money. Financial planning for retirement, tax preparation help or debt counseling are in great demand.
Personal finance courses offer an opportunity for churches to reach out to the community and help people address an important life issue.
The first quarter of the year offers the perfect promotional timing for these resources. Consider taking out an ad in a local publication. Reach even more people in your community by starting an advertising campaign on Facebook.
Partner with businesses that surge in the new year
Your best marketing partnership in the new year may be the local business around the corner. Design promotional posters about community offerings and ask permission to post on bulletin boards.
Approach a local gym about a joint campaign encouraging spiritual and physical fitness. Offer to promote the fitness center in your messages to members about the body-soul connection. In exchange, the gym can include an ad for your church in a new member welcome packet. (The wording of the ad needs to invite people to “explore their spiritual fitness on Sunday mornings at the church just down the street,” making the information unique and relevant.)
Whether it’s partnering with a local gym or creating a great New Year’s sermon series, being intentional about marketing the moment is an essential aspect in late- to early-year planning. With the right idea, it offers a powerful outreach opportunity to the people outside and inside the walls of your church.
Jeremy Steele is the teaching pastor at Christ UMC in Mobile, Alabama, as well as a writer and speaker. You can find a list of all his books, articles and resources for churches, including his most recent book All the Best Questions, at his website: JeremyWords.com.