Behind every church there is a story. I'm not talking about THE STORY, which hopefully is the reason behind every church, but I'm talking the local story about the location and the people. Whether it's the story of the how the church came exist, the ways in which it impacts its local community, or simply stories of the clergy and congregation, your church has a story and there's nothing but good that can come from sharing it. Here are five reasons why you should tell your church's story and how it can help your mission.
1. You Decide the Message
It's all well and good receiving column inches in your local newspaper, but when you tell your own story you get to share precisely what you want. You can cover the ups and the downs in the manner you most deem appropriate. When you tell your church's story yourself, you remain in charge and you can decide exactly what you want to be promoted. And if you aren't telling your story... if you aren't active online or on social media... someone is out there telling that story for you. Are you ok with that?
2. Get Noticed in Your Community
Telling your story gets you noticed in your community. Reaching out to local news and creating a social media presence can help you with your mission. Sharing your story with the community can help your church connect with new audiences and make a more positive impact with its work. The more people who are aware of your church's mission, the more people who are likely to support it. And I'm not just talking about sharing events or happening at the church. Your parish needs to be doing things that are actually impactful in your local community - serving, helping, volunteering, giving in ways that folks get excited about sharing. We are the light in our communities.
3. You Can Show Your Church's Values
A lot of people don't realize that not all churches are the same. By sharing your story with your community, you can help yours stand out from the rest. Letting people in your area know who you are, what you stand for, and what you want to do can help people get more involved. Let residents of your community know that you care and that you're a great outlet for philanthropy. It's not a competition by any means, but there of course preconceived notions people have about churches in general. Maybe this is your chance to break through that perspective.
4. You Get to Make the Best First Impression
What better way to make a first impression than by telling your story? Whether you've been involved with your church for decades or you've recently arrived there, there's no time like the present to promote your church community and the message it has to share with the world. Again, this isn't a 'look at all the great things we are doing' type message. It's about encouraging folks to get involved and to build community-changing programs, and then sharing what the church is doing. Tell the story of people in your congregation. Tell the story of your pastors and lay staff. You never know what will connect with someone.
5. Generate Interest and Excitement in Your Church
This is more pertinent among younger audiences. It's harder than ever for churches in the United States to connect with youth. However, telling your story via social media and other appropriate channels can greatly assist you with this challenge. Also, there's no better way of getting your community involved in important events than via word of mouth on social media.
What are you waiting for? Get started sharing your church's story today and grow alongside your community. By creating an engaging narrative, your church will grow and your mission is much more likely to succeed.