As a new church plant, one of your greatest challenges is getting the word out about your church. Traditional outreach is a slow and frustrating process. You can mail out fliers, but they get tucked away with the rest of the “junk mail.” Billboard ads are expensive, radio ads get tuned out, and websites are only helpful once a person knows about your church.
Building a Community When You’re New in Town
Jason McAnally, Lead Pastor of Home Church Nashville knew outreach was going to be hard, especially since he was new to his area. “We were new to Nashville and didn’t know many people. So it was going to be challenging to get connected,” Jason explained. “Luckily, when we heard about Reach, it was clear our problem was solved.”
Home Church started using Reach with their first service, and Jason knew they found a way to do outreach differently. Reach incentivizes Facebook check-ins, which are friend-to-friend referrals seen by hundreds of people. Since these referrals come from friends and family, they make people feel comfortable trying out a new church.
Providing Water and Meals With a Check-In
The incentive to help others by checking in on Facebook is so powerful that communities like Jason's often get really excited to check in. “Our community loves that they can feed a life-saving meal to refugees or give a gallon of water to children in underdeveloped areas, just by checking in on Facebook. That’s all it takes,” Jason said.
In the process of giving to those who are less fortunate, the Home Church community is telling their friends and family about their church. In fact, Home Church has grown their exposure on Facebook 330% in just a few weeks. That means they are averaging 17,000 impressions, or friend-to-friend referrals in Facebook News Feeds, per week. Exposure like that makes the traditional way of doing outreach seem pretty outdated.
“Reach is great because it lets one person tell hundreds of their friends about us, all with a single Facebook check-in. Even better, that check-in goes toward improving someone else’s life,” Jason said.
Recommending Reach to Other Church Planters
Jason has only been with Reach for a month, but he’s already recommended Reach to seven other church planters. “My church planter friends keep seeing the Home Church Nashville community checking in on Facebook, and they want to know how I do it,” Jason explained. “When they ask me how I turn Facebook check-ins into help for those in need, and I'm always happy to tell them about Reach.”
“It’s one thing to pay for advertisements and have people see them. But it’s entirely different when people see a someone who's highly thought of check-in somewhere,” said Jason. “Personal check-ins add authenticity and legitimacy, and people trust them.” They also make people curious and interested in trying out Jason’s church - often their first step in beginning their spiritual journey.
Making a World Wide Impact
“We always wanted to change the world both locally and globally. Reach allows us to do both at once,” said Jason. “We are a brand new church and have already been able to provide hundreds of gallons of water to kids in need and life-saving meals to refugees!”