Are there people in your community who are skeptical about church and reluctant to attend?
In this episode of the podcast we are sharing insights from Pastor Mike Signorelli in New York City who is fighting the good fight to invite skeptical people to V1 Church. You’ll get practical ideas from Mike of what branding and marketing tactics have been allowing him to open up his second campus in 3 years in one of the toughest communities to reach.
Listen to Episode 048
Mike started evangelizing people in bars and other non-traditional locations to build a base before he started having services in a movie theater.
He has just opened up the second location in another movie theater across town to help people not have to travel as far in the hustle and bustle of New York City to attend weekend services.
Mike believes he is dealing with a post-Christian culture in New York that will eventually be the reality for churches all across the country in 10 years. Pastors will need to adjust to reach people in a different way than what is working now.
The people in Mike’s community are used to hearing all kinds of ideas from people who claim to have the answer to their problems.
A church seems to be just another claim to have answers so people are reluctant to buy in to being a part of a church.
A Fresh Perspective
The standard way for a church to deliver a message is a monologue where the preacher talks and everyone listens.
Mike found that people were struggling with this format and he started to engage with people after services by offering to meet them in the lobby to answer their questions.
This gathering happens after the service in the lobby and it has worked well to break down walls as groups of 20 to 40 people would join Mike to ask their questions about God.
Try Changing Tactics
Pastors need to continually change things up to reach people because what works today may not work tomorrow. Mike is using digital marketing strategies and tactics to apply to V1 Church in order to reach the people of New York.
One tactic Mike has applies is a video blog. People are able to see Mike first on the video blog that shows he is just a normal guy who is trying to figure things out just like them.
Mike encourages pastors to keep their eyes open for what is available for them to use to bring down walls before people get to a church service.
Create a Culture
There needs to be a value for trying new things as part of the church DNA. This will allow you to experiment as part of a natural flow of how you do church.
Ideas from Mike that he has implemented:
- Text Groups – get a great response because people are more likely to read text
- Facebook and Instagram quote pictures designed for sharing
- Be less of a billboard and more of a resource with social content
- Accumulated talent of people who want to market the church
- Chat Bot on the website to engage with users
- Email marketing with segmented lists
- Video blog to bring down walls of resistance people may have about church
Focus On the Audience
The marketing you implement needs to focus on the audience you are trying to reach. By default, we naturally tend to serve ourselves by creating things we like, but it needs to focus on helping people.
The marketing should help people in the church by adding value to them which will allow them to share the content to those in their circle.
Book: The Power of Moments by Dan and Chip Heath
New Ideas Mike is implementing:
- What’s App – invite people to join an exclusive group to get inside content after their membership process.
- Plan Your Visit strategy on the website where you ask people to submit their info to get a better experience on their first visit.
- Uber coupons to allow people to come to church with a free ride.
V1 Church is part of the LINC community of churches which is a network to support church leaders and plant new churches.
Connect with Mike: