Pastor Austin Gardner and VBM Director Jeff Bush discuss the best way to start a church and help it grow.
Question: Do you have a checklist for the guys starting new churches? What kind of messages? How many doors to knock on? How to set up services?
- Have your first year of messages already prepared. The majority of your time on the field will be used to invite people to church, organize services, prepare songs and music, and many other things, so it would be a great help to already have messages prepared to save time.
- Prepare lessons that will attract an audience. Prepare lessons on family, marriage, raising children, finances, how to be a successful Christian, the last days, addictions, and other things that will intrigue people enough to come to a service.
- Don’t talk to them like church people. Try to avoid ideas they have never heard about and have no comprehension of as much as possible and thoroughly explain words like “redemption” and “salvation”. Make messages simple and easy to apply.
- Give a packet of information to every visitor. Give them a phone number, service schedule, calendar of events, and try to get their information as well. Stay in touch with everyone who shows even a tiny bit of interest in coming back. Give them something tangible to remind them of church, like a Bible or even just a pen. Always include a gospel tract.
- Make the church look good and comfortable. Keep it spotless, preform any maintenance it needs, decorate it, play background music, have greeters, signs everywhere, a welcome center, and a friendly environment.
- Keep services interactive, short, and interesting.
- Start on time and stop on time.
- Make several invitations, inviting people in every way you know how
- Have several midweek services or activities. Watch movies, and preach in the intermission on movie nights, have services for “felt needs.”
- Get the name of the church everywhere you possibly can. Billboards, radio ads, newspaper ads, signs, posters, be creative and make good looking ads to look professional. Carry business cards and tracts.
- Have a weekly staff meeting with men involved in the ministry. Plan everything until the next meeting and give them the all the info, media, and anything else they need for the week.
- Have absolutely everything planned out for several weeks.
- Set up a table outside and talk to people.
- Have a Friday night youth meeting. Just talk to people, don’t advertise it as a service.
- You are not a success until the man you’re training is a success. Keep tabs on anybody you’re training and teach them as they progress and help him in every step of the way.