Chip Wheeler.com
Enjoy The Journey

Church Planters: Do One Thing

Over the years I have tried every kind of gimmick, strategy, and ¬†marketing – basically everything short of giving away money – to get people to our church. Here are some of the dumber things I’ve done:

1) Gave away a free DVD player in order to get people to sign up in our data base. This was a good idea in theory but only eight people signed up. So we were out a DVD player with not guests or infiltration into the community.

2) We launched our first church in Hammond, LA on April 4, 2004 – 4/4/04. In order to publicize the event we sent college students throughout the community with sidewalk chalk during the weeks prior to the launch service with the instructions to write “Are You Ready? 4/4/04.” This seemed like a good idea at the time, until many people from the community ¬†asked if we were predicting the end of the world. Apocalyptic predicting is never good for a launch service.

3) During the first year of our current church plant we sent out a huge mailer that said “Come Have A Ball With Us” inviting people and their kids to our church. We then randomly dropped off rubber kick balls on door steps through neighborhoods – didn’t go over well.

4) The worst thing I’ve ever done was sent out teenagers to wash windshields leaving a note saying “Your windshield has been cleaned in Jesus name.” We received calls from people who were upset because of the residue on their newly detailed car.

There are other mistakes and cheesy strategies that I can write about, but ultimately I’ve learned a valuable lesson from over 13 years of church planting: my job is not to establish anything other than a place that I herald the good news.

That’s it. Sometimes I get really frustrated with the strategies, gimmicks and ideas that come out of “successful” churches because the Biblical mandate for every church planter is to establish a place to proclaim the good news. I know this sounds a bit old school and please understand that I am not dismissing the need to be creative, develop strategy and have a plan – we do all of these things at River Hills. What I am saying is that if you are a church planter or if you are considering planting a church, may your ministry objective not be trendy or traditional – but truth telling. Please convey the gospel. The coffee bar, hymnal, lighting, stain glass, name or denominational affiliation will NEVER change lives – only the Gospel.

Plant Churches that Proclaim The Gospel.

Comments are closed.