After several years of not doing a big communication campaign around Easter, The Oaks Fellowship team were given the green light in 2015 to develop a big community outreach project. They?ve always done something special to commemorate Easter, but for budget reasons, promotion of the big Easter service has not been on a massive scale in recent years.
Their most effective promotional ?tool? is relational evangelism. Any advertising or marketing they do is always from?the mindset of providing ?air support?. Imagine when you talk to your friend and invite them to a church for a big series or Easter service, they?re primed because they saw it in the mail, social media, and on yard signs all over town. Part of the plan for reaching out to the community was through the congregation. They printed 20,000 empty Easter egg buckets and got them into the hands of their people on Sunday mornings. They also provided 1,000 yard signs to their people to put in front of their homes. (Those who lived in apartments got creative and put them facing out of their windows.)
They created a video to show their congregation the heart of the campaign and give them ideas on what to do.
The staff instructed the congregation to ask God who (neighbor, co-worker- gym, classmate, teammate, etc.) to give a bucket to, pray for an opportunity to give them the bucket, and connect to invite them to church. The congregation member was supposed to fill it with something specifically for the neighbor and use it to invite them to the Easter services. They even provided a greeting card and envelope in each bucket so that the church member?could write a note along with their gifts that they put inside the buckets.
Ideally, the inviter would know something about their neighbor that could make the Easter bucket much more personal than just a generic invite.
- Neighbor loves golfing? Fill it with golf balls.
- Neighbor loves cookies? Fill it with baked goods.
- Neighbor recently had a baby? Fill it with new diapers.
The goal was to give the congregation an excuse to invite their neighbors, but also a personal way that was sure to be more impactful for the recipient of the invitation.
Leading up to the Easter promotion, Pastor Scott had been speaking about personal evangelism and loving your neighbor. That was the yearlong focus for the sermon series? at the church.
Because of this, the promotional idea tied in perfectly with what the congregation had already been focusing on for three months.
They also had photo booths set up weeks before Easter. They encouraged their congregation to take photos in the booths, and then post the photos on social media as another chance to let their friends know what theirs plans were for Easter.
All of these promotional ideas pointed back to their mini Easter site, FindEaster.com, where visitors could get all the details for the Easter services at The Oaks Fellowship.
These are some of the ways the team armed their congregation with invitation tools for Easter. Much of this also fed into one of the ways they built buzz for the Easter services?another social media push to get the community aware of The Oaks Fellowship. We?ll talk about this in the next Communication article.