Create personas for your church
A persona is simply a rough outline of a person, like a college student, a single parent, or a blue-collar worker. Each persona should be based on a group of people who call your church home, and it should loosely represent the majority of people who fall in that category. You should answer some basic questions about each persona, such as:
Where does this person live?
How do they spend their days?
What’s their family like?
What does this person care about?
What is this person afraid of?
God has led your church to this particular place and time, and your job is to figure out who your church is uniquely equipped to help. Creating personas helps you identify those people and the most effective ways to reach them.
Make a list of 3–5 personas you want to make an effort to reach. You can even give them fictional names and a short description if you want. This will come into play again shortly.
Make sure your website is up to date
How will they believe if they haven’t heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? These are great questions posed by Scripture. However, we may want to ask one more question in the digital age: How will they find the preacher without a church website?
A church website is the digital front door to your church. It’s one of the simplest ways to be found by people who are looking for a new church, and yet, many churches don’t take the time to regularly update their site and/or make sure it even has all the relevant information a visitor might need.
Spend some time on your site. If you don’t have one or if it’s totally out of date, build a new one quickly on Faithlife Sites, and you’ll never have to worry about site updates again. That’s because Faithlife Sites updates itself. (We’ll explain more of this magic later.)
We cover church website basics in our guide Church Websites 101. There are some extra tips about writing personas in there, too.
Search engines like Google highlight fresh and relevant content. One of the easiest ways to keep your site full of fresh content is to blog on a weekly basis.
Some of you are likely overwhelmed by the thought of blogging, but listen: start simple. Just post your sermon notes once a week and link to your newly published sermon audio or video.
Easy peasy. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can slowly add more content.
Make sure your website is optimized for SEO
In addition to blogging, it helps to tell search engines what your site is all about. Make sure all of your main website pages are optimized for SEO (search engine optimization). We cover everything you need to know about SEO for churches in our upcoming guide, SEO for Churches: Everything You Need to Know to Get Found Online.
Create a social media plan
Again, you don’t have to do anything elaborate here, but social media is a great opportunity to not only reach your immediate community but also expand your reach to new people who might be looking for a church.
When you’re thinking about where to use your church group on Faithlife versus social media, consider your audience. If you’re trying to build out your internal community, subgroups, and discipleship programs, Faithlife is a great fit. But if you’re trying to reach newcomers or potential visitors—or if you’re running ads—social media is the better fit.
If you’re not sure which is best, you can use both in the same way until you get a feel for what works. Regardless, your church group on Faithlife and mainstream social media accounts are a strong one-two punch for online engagement.
Create a midweek event to attract new people to your community
Churches have a million ways to host midweek events, and they’re all great. You can host ESL classes or Bible studies or even run your own Bible study. Anyway you decide to do it, you’ll want to build a page on your church website with an optional sign-up form for the event and make sure each occurrence is listed on your church’s events page. And if you have room in your budget, we recommend running ads for the event. Midweek events are a huge on-ramp for people who may not be quite ready to dive in on a Sunday morning.