Category Archives: Marketing

Easter, Word of Mouth and the Invite Card

Invite at Easter

At Easter - Word of Mouth is Still the Best Invite Tool

I came across this article by Executive Pastors Online, and it truly could have been written by someone here at South Hills

The #1 Cause Of Church Growth

Over our almost 12 year history, we’ve had the following measure in place: How Did You Find Out About CCV?

You would think our website, visibility from the major highway running through our target area, or direct mail advertising would be The #1 Cause Of Church Growth. Nope. Not even close.

Are you familiar with the use of Pareto Analysis as part of any continuous improvement process? I know, it sounds technical! It’s pretty basic, though. It’s a bar graph, arranged from highest bar to lowest bar. The purpose of the analysis is to determine and illustrate the “highest contributing cause” of something. In this case the graph shows the highest contributing cause of church growth.

By far and away it’s “Invited By A Friend Or Family Member.” Surprised? Sometimes I think we underestimate the significance of “a person with skin on them” personally inviting their friend or family member to church.

OK. So now what? What do we do with this knowledge? The first step is understanding that the people who are attending our churches are our best tool for growing our church. Now, we must do a number of things to equip them and help them succeed.

First, we must put a service together that our people wouldn’t be embarrassed about asking someone to attend. In addition, we must create a warm and welcoming environment. The list is long and requires us to re-think everything about our churches. And, in most cases the stuff we must do is difficult and takes a significant amount of time to get in place.

But there’s one thing we can do that’s pretty easy. The Invite Card. Yes, it’s a simple business card sized tool that we can print for our people that equips them to simply hand someone a card that provides the needed information. Here’s an example:

CCV Easter Invite Card Front The #1 Cause Of Church Growth
CCV Easter Invite Card Back The #1 Cause Of Church Growth
We print a whole bunch of these cards and hand them out at church services for several weeks leading up to Easter. It’s that simple.

The Invite Card we have at South Hills for Easter looks like this…

Easter invite cardEaster invite
We also have coordinating invites for Good Friday and  our community Easter Egg Hunt. We create invite cards or flyers for nearly every new sermon series and special event. It is just a simple way for people to invite friend, family, or the person they just met to come to church. It is also helpful that they have all of the details such as service times right there on the card.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen


80% of people surveyed said they would attend church if invited. – Barna Research


Marketing Your Church

Get the word Out

Marketing Helps Get the Word Out About your Church

Mark Batterson, one of our Celera group coaches and author of Wild Goose Chase, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, and Primal recently had this post on his blog regarding church marketing.  I feel that the article needs no further introduction other than to say that I fully agree with Mark, and that we at South Hills also use many forms of marketing to reach our community.

The Greatest Marketing

I have a core conviction: the greatest message deserves the greatest marketing. It’s shameful that Madison Avenue and Hollywood are better at marketing their often meaningless messages than the church is at marketing the gospel.

I know “marketing” is a dirty word for some. So if you are offended by that word, insert compel as in “compel them to come in”–Luke 14:23. Let me put it in these terms: I don’t want anybody living near one of our locations to be able to deny our existence. Obviously, word of mouth is the best form of marketing. I think our last survey showed that 86% of NCCers came because a friend invited them. So it’s all about friends inviting friends. But I also think we’ve got to find creative ways to consistently let people know we exist.

Those different devices range from technology (radio) to social media (facebook) to good old fashion methods (mailers). I think we ought to be using any and every means available to us to invite people to church and invite people to Christ.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen


“The world calls it marketing. The Bible calls it evangelism.”

– Mac Richard of Lake Hills Church, Texas