May 18, 2023
Resurrection is an amazing church, full of life, love, and hope. It seems to me that Eugene should be beating a path to our door. Obviously that isn’t happening.
There are many reasons that people stay away in droves, and one of the biggest is that they don’t know what an amazing church we are, or even that we exist. We’re out of the way, hidden behind trees, and even the neighbors can barely hear the organ at its loudest. Once upon a time, we might have put an ad in the paper to attract some attention. We still could, I suppose, and if it’s big enough then both people who read the paper might see it. It’s an overstatement, of course, but it accents how the world has changed. Newspaper readership is way down and television and radio are in decline as well. When I speak with people about the church, I often hear, “We need more young families.” These younger people are exactly the group that does not subscribe to the newspaper, that streams Netflix instead of watching TV, and that listens to Spotify instead of radio.
One approach would be to buy advertising on social media, or streaming services. It isn’t a bad plan. It would allow us to target ads to likely populations, like those personalized ads on Facebook that seem to know what you are thinking. It is complicated, however, and by the time we have produced and purchased advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, Spotify, Google, and Bing the cost begins to “ad” up.
We’ll hold on to purchased ads as a possibility for the future, but in the meantime, we have another form of publicity on social media – YOU! I’m used to reminding people to turn their phones off in church, but now I’m reminding you to turn them on. When you are in church, take a sec and check in on Facebook, post a picture on Instagram, summarize the sermon on Twitter, or share a video on TikTok. Your friends care about you and want to know what you care about. Your friends are often people much like you, who enjoy the same things you enjoy. Your friends may very well think of Christians as judgmental far-right hypocrites, but your friends know you are a person filled with life, love, and hope. Let them see where it comes from. Turn your phone ON in church. (But on silent during worship please ????)