Church Direct Mail Services
One of the most effective tools you can use to reach out to your community are postcards. Thanks to the huge influx of emails and social media, there is less competition in people's physical mailboxes - making direct mail postcard invitations an even better option for inviting people to church!
Fall Banners, Fall Signs, & Fall Invites
This fall use Outreach resources to invite and welcome families and their new visitors. Outreach has all the invite tools your church will need for fall. Teardrop flag banners, feather flag banners, square invites, cirlce invites, floor sticker signs, postcard mailers, backdrop banners, jumbo sleeve banners, etc. Fall banners, fall signs, fall direct mail postcards, fall door hangers, fall invites.
There’s something about fall that makes people crave tradition, growth, and coziness. Fall makes people simultaneously want to move forward with life and get back to routine. That’s why church fall ministry events should be all about:
- Helping people get into the routine of going to church.
- Helping people grow.
- Providing opportunities for people to make connections with others and your church.
But this fall is unique. Because of the Delta Variant, whatever you plan should be COVID-aware, remote, set up for bubbles, socially-distanced, or hybrid.
To plan events that are both COVID-safe and meet the three objectives above, think of your fall events in two categories: 1) all-church events and 2) small-groups-driven events. Both types of events can help you grow your church. Here are ideas for each:
Fall All-Church Event Ideas
All-church events are mass invitation opportunities. They can be promoted on social media, with postcard mailers, with a banner or sandwich board in front of your church, and with invite cards for your church members to hand out to their friends and neighbors. These are opportunities to build buzz about your church, get people back into the routine of going to church, and provide opportunities for people to grow.
1.) Back to Church Sunday
Back to Church Sunday is one of the biggest fall kick-off events of churches across the country! If you haven’t signed up for Back to Church Sunday yet, you still have time. It’s on September 19th, and its theme is Hope is Here. It is a weekend all about getting people into church and restoring hope to a world that’s been devastated by this pandemic.
2.) All-Church Campaign
Campaigns are a great way to get people into the routine of going to church weekly and reading the Bible regularly. They also are a great opportunity for your church to invite newcomers and relaunch fall small groups. A great way to kick off a fall campaign is with a Back to Church Sunday event. Then, jump into a four-week or five-week campaign, which includes sermons, individual reading, small group studies, and other events focused on the same topic or book. Choose your timeframe, select a campaign (like our Hope is Here Campaign) that fits the needs of your community in this season of COVID, and talk to your small group leaders about it. Email your church, run social media ads, and send out postcards. Campaigns can be hybrid events, as people can attend groups and services online or in-person this fall! Maybe the perfect event for your church this fall is an all-church campaign.
Rick Warren uses campaigns regularly at Saddleback and shared: “Our church has largely grown, both numerically and spiritually, through the years because of campaigns. I’m confident they can have a similar impact on your church.”
3.) Drive-Thru Trunk-or-Treat (COVID-Safe)
Last year forced churches to get creative, and one of the most popular events our leaders talked about was a drive-thru trunk-or-treat. Invite your community to trick-or-treat as a family by driving through your parking lot, around your church building, or around a community park. Have volunteers or small groups sign up to park their cars somewhere along the route, to dress up in costumes, to decorate their cars, and to hand out candy. Encourage families to stay in their cars and drive safely through from start to finish. At the end, take family pictures for each car. Collect their email addresses, so you can send them their pictures. A few weeks later, send a follow-up email thanking them for coming and inviting them to church or another event.
4.) Wow Weekend
Engage a high-profile speaker, author, leader, or other famous person to come speak at your church. Invite your community by promoting the event in the newspaper, on your website, on your social media pages and groups, and with postcards or door hangers. One of the best ways to ensure that the speaker shares a compelling story and leads to a gospel presentation opportunity is to have your pastor interview the guest on stage. Set up two chairs and two handheld microphones, select interview questions beforehand that help the guest tell his/her story, and wrap up with a clear gospel presentation. Have online and in-person visitors fill out connection cards. Give them a newcomer gift for coming. Then, follow up with them within the week to invite them back to another service or group.
5.) Your Church’s Signature Fall Event
Because of the predictable seasonality people crave in the fall, one of your church’s most important events is the event you host every fall. Maybe you have a harvest carnival every year. Keep it! It is likely that the families in your church are already planning on coming, and they will be some of the greatest inviters of people to your event. Just make sure to make it COVID-safe, and provide them with invite cards or door hangers to hand out and social media content to post/share, so they can invite others.
Large-scale events can be great attractional opportunities for churches, but small-scale events can be equally effective at reengaging people, growing your church, and helping people establish relationships with other people in your church.
Small-Groups-Driven Event Ideas
Small-groups-driven events are events you encourage your small group leaders to host. These can be bubble-type events with fewer people. They can be outdoor events or remote events hosted by small group leaders. Small-groups-driven events are grass-roots events. They are easy to plan last-minute, and they can be a natural opportunity for your small groups to invite both people from your church who are not in small groups and unchurched people. These events are great for assimilation.
Encourage your small group leaders to plan one of these hangouts or a similar gathering at least once this fall to connect as a group, re engage families who have stopped coming over the summer, and invite new families.
- Host a picnic potluck and play date at a local park.
- Get together to watch a favorite football game on TV.
- Gather craft supplies for a Mommy & Me Craft Morning.
- Collect school supplies and stuff backpacks for a local children’s home or elementary school.
- Host a pumpkin carving contest.
- Do an online cooking class together from each of your kitchens.
- Gather before or after Thanksgiving for a “Turkey Bowl” game or jello fight.
- Gather grandparents for a Grandparenting Day of Prayer or attend the Legacy Grandparenting Summit.
- Do a friendsgiving event and invite local military service members to join you.
- Purchase blankets and drive around town handing them out to homeless.
- Host a pumpkin spice party and serve pumpkin spice lattes, cookies, and pie.
- Volunteer handing out water at a local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.
- Serve at a local beach or park cleanup.
- Go to a local mini-golf place and have a family tournament.
- Get together for a remote game night.
With a fall calendar filled with opportunities for people to visit your church, get into the rhythm of coming to church, connect into small groups, and invite their friends to church, you are geared up to grow both the size of your church and the depth of your people this fall. Our team at Outreach, Inc. is here to help. If you have any questions or need any invitation products rushed to you, call our customer support team! We know this fall can be both powerful and eternity-changing, and we’re here to help.
Exciting things are happening in the church this Fall!
Over the past 18 months, from Pastors to congregants, our lives have been changed forever, but with the upcoming changing of the leaves, we are inspired by what we are finally seeing. Churches are open, and even if mask mandates are back in effect for your area, neighbors are still able to worship together again! Our kids are headed back to school, and in-person programs are returning to the church schedule. All this progress means we need to re-engage in our marketing and preparation.
At Outreach, we regularly survey our customers and church leaders, and spend countless hours researching design trends in the church for each season. We’ve compiled the best of our analysis here to help you plan a spectacular fall!
Churches are going big this fall. Giant canvas print sets are hot!
What’s new? Foundational scriptures and messages spread across gorgeous landscape panoramas in various wall-filling proportions, and canvas cross sets now include dramatic unifying photography.
Many churches suspended kids programs through the pandemic, and are now investing in these areas to inspire and re-engage younger members. Adding vibrant wall stickers is one the easiest ways to quickly and inexpensively decorate kid’s spaces, but don’t forget to add directional and sign-in messaging to reacquaint your congregants with room locations or changes in safety protocol. Click here to see all designs.
Traditional colors and themes never go out of style for Fall. This year we are seeing rich photographic scenes and hand painted craft-style illustrations trending.
Bold Contemporary Designs
Among the hottest design trends today are graphic pattern motifs. Simple contemporary designs that grab the viewer’s attention with bold colors and direct messages.
Hope is proving to be the operative word for 2021. Our research has led us to include the idea of hope in invitational and inspirational messages for both Fall and Christmas seasons.
Hope is so needed in the church, and the community, that we’ve dedicated this year’s National Back To Church Sunday theme. Hope Is Here is a rally cry for our communities to gather, grow and build the church like never before.
Special Christmas Sneak Peek!
Christmas is coming and we have been hard at work designing our new Christmas, advent and Christmas Eve invitation lineup to advertise your events and invite your community.
Deep, rich colors with pops of gold sparkle from these new designs. Christmas 2021 is a blend of traditional visuals and concepts, and ultra-cool contemporary designs with non-traditional color palettes. You’ll find concepts this year you won’t see anywhere else, tried and true invitational messages and designs ready to be customized online with your specific events and times, and you may even start humming a few carols a little earlier this year.
By the way, if you are in an area where the Delta variant is a concern, be sure to stock up on safety supplies like face masks and Purerox™ disinfectant – which can kill viruses in your building!
As you gear up to welcome visitors to your church for Back to Church Sunday and other fall events, consider how your church can greet them, and make them feel comfortable and welcome so they will want to return.
And while we all would like to think we’re good at assimilation, it’s easy to fall back on old habits or forget that the church world can seem strange to people who didn’t grow up in the culture. So consider these 5 Visitor “Don’ts” as you plan your ministry year:
#1 – Don’t make a spectacle out of your new guests.
Guests don’t want to stand out in the crowd so don’t make them feel awkward by putting them in the spotlight. It may seem innocent but don’t make them stand up and wave, give them a special “I’m New” name tag, or make them carry around the “secret” gift bag.
Instead, greeters at your front door should welcome church visitors with a friendly hand shake and guide them around your building. During the message, the pastor should extend a warm welcome and invite guests to pick up a visitor gift or meet a staff member after the service ends if they have questions. Let visitors discover how friendly and warm your church is without shining a huge spotlight that will make them feel uncomfortable.
#2 – Don’t use awkward church lingo.
Guests to your church are already intimidated enough just walking through the doors of your church. Hearing strange Christian expressions is a sure signal that they “don’t fit in”, and often we don’t even realize the words we are using will sound strange to an outside ear.
Think about it…for people who don’t attend church, some of the regular things that happen on Sunday are strange enough: Where else do you go, stand around and sing together for 20 minutes? Or where else will you be served tiny bits of cracker and itsy cups of juice? It all makes sense and has beauty and significance to us, but don’t add to the strangeness of it by ‘giving a praise offering’ afterward.
Instead, try to use everyday language to talk about spiritual things, for example, encourage people to change their ways and follow God instead of “repent”. But if you do use language like “Born Again” “Lord’s Supper” and “Spiritual Gifts” be sure to explain the meanings so newcomers don’t feel confused or left out but instead, learn more about the tenets of our faith
#3 – Don’t Make Your Children’s Area Scary for Parents.
Don’t decide that Back to Church Sunday is the perfect Sunday to have your cousin, who moonlights as a clown, show up as Mr. Purple Pockets and greet all of the children.
Instead, prepare your children’s area to receive new families by keeping the area clean, and having fun, playful decorations and signs. Train your volunteers to answer hesitant parent’s fears about safety, security and allergen-free snacks. Happy children who have fun at church leads to families who attend more regularly.
#4 – Don’t launch a capital campaign or hard sell the offering.
A lot of unchurched people think that churches just want money from their members. When you know you are having a lot of visitors, don’t reinforce that stereotype by taking more than one offering or lecturing on the spiritual gift of poverty.
Instead, talk about the gifts God has given us and then emulate Him by blessing your visitors with a free gift book, coupons to a local restaurant or coffee shop, or an invitation to an upcoming lunch or event with the staff where they can find out more about your ministries.
#5 – Don’t bore your visitors.
Back to Church Sunday is not a good day to launch a new sermon series on the Levitical Laws of Ancient Israel (or show endless slides of Elder Bob’s latest trip to the Holy Land). Instead begin a series that talks about the beauty and power of coming together as a community in Christ. Try to send visitors home with relevant truths that can help them in the week ahead and then be sure to invite visitors to the following week’s sermon to learn more.
Bonus Tip – Ditch the sock puppets and flannel graphs and anything else that says your church is lost in the 1990’s – instead show compelling videos that will grab and keep your audience’s attention.
These oversized postcards are a great way to re-connect with your community and invite them to Church this Fall!
Welcome visitors and members to your services this Fall with beautiful bulletin shells.
Dress up your lobby and hallways with indoor banners or grab the attention of passing traffic with an outdoor banner!
Fall Canvas Prints
Decorate your church for the season with inspiration, art-quality Canvas Prints