Archive for category Strategy


Assimilation goal: each newcomer should have 7 church friends in first 6 months.

Invite ratio: 14 personal invitations to get 1 long-term member.

Direct mail response rates: normally .5%, but in church world perhaps more like .25%.

Outreach/marketing budget: at least 10%.

Salaries/benefits: under 50%.

Second worship service: when 1st is 80% full AND over 100 people.

1st Worship space must accommodate at least 125, although it should be set up for less, so chairs get pulled out as people arrive. (Assuming portable chairs; if a movie theater, for instance, this won’t work, obviously. Movie theater strategy will probably be to go with smallest available auditorium: likely 100 seats.)

At least 2 Sunday a.m. services before services at other times/days.

At least 2 services, as soon as possible.

Hire full time ordained staff: 1 for every 150 Sunday attendees.

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. Yesterday I explained Service Evangelism. Tomorrow will be all about Daughtering.]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Service Evangelism

A major component of the outreach approach at New Way will be “Service Evangelism”. This is different from (but may technically include) “sevant evangelism”. Servant evangelism is the doing of natural charity for strangers as an act of outreach. Service evangelism (my own term) describes not just doing good works of charity for strangers, but actually inviting strangers to help do those good deeds with the church community. (The recent World Vision Caregiver Kit program is a partial example of this sort of outreach.) Evangelism—when looked at as handing out invitations to the Lord’s wedding feast—is not only declaring the truths of the New Church, but also inviting people into the life of the church, which is a life of doing good. By thus marrying truth with good in our outreach efforts, we are acting as not just the lungs, but also the heart for the surrounding community.

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. Yesterday I shared the Marketing Philosophy. Tomorrow I’ll post something on Ratios.]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Marketing Philosophy

Tagline: “New Way Church: Welcome to Christianity 2.0”.

We cannot be the 1st mover in the “Christian church” category in Austin, obviously, so our goal is to create a new category: “Christianity 2.0”. We will sacrifice market leadership in whatever areas are necessary in order to focus on our unique values and offerings. We will focus on opposite characteristics and not on similarities with category leaders / first movers. The goal is to communicate our differences in a compassionate, non-argumentative way to those who are looking for something different.

Advertising will focus on the “New Way” brand, appealing to people who are spiritually minded but view traditional christianity as outdated and no-longer in synch with postmodern reality. E.g., “Imagine a New Way of seeing God”, “No satisfied Christians here”, etc. Affiliation with the “New Church” umbrella brand will be clear. “New Way” draws on early apostolic Christianity’s original name, “The Way”, while also subtly evoking a more eastern, wholistic approach to spirituality. By tagging the brand with “Christianity 2.0” we emphasize the “New” in “New Way” and “New Church” in a way that appeals to postmodern tech-savvy adults looking for something more than just another flavor of old-school organized religion.

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. Yesterday we talked about the commitment to No Premature Real Estate. Tomorrow I’ll explain Service Evangelism.]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Premature Real Estate

Another new component of this church planting model is the avoidance of long-term commitments to real estate. New Way Church will be technically nomadic for the first many years of its existance. This not only reduces costs significantly, but it also helps in a number of other ways. There are a number of different ways of doing this. Primary venues (following recent studies of successful church plants) include movie theaters, school auditoriums, and other community centers. Currently we are looking at the Regal cinema at the Gateway Mall.

New churches often become hyperfocused early on on building programs. The good thing about a building program is that it gives the community a goal. But there are costs that come with this goal.

First, it is a self-serving goal and so tends to turn a community inward. Second, it locks the church in with regard to worship gathering size far too early. Third, it saps all the financial, emotional and physical energy of the congregation, preventing that energy from being used on more outward-facing programs. Fourth, it creates a long-term burden—in the form of maintenance and sometimes debt service—that not only draws money and energy away from outward-focused programs, but (when debt or additional grants are involved) it robs the congregation of an important sense of self-sufficency, making them into wards of the denomination. Finally, building programs encourage a “work hard today, so eventually everyone can stop working so hard altogether” mentality. The building of a building has no obvious followup goal to inspire and lead a community. Better long-term goals include things that will always need repeating—like sponsoring the planting of daughter churches. (See “Daughtering”, below.)

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. Last week: Street to Kitchen. Tomorrow: Marketing Philosophy.]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Street to Kitchen

Using an adaptation of the “Foyer to Kitchen” model of church program planning, no new program will be started that does not have a clear goal that assists in progressing participants a step closer to experiencing the Lord in His Second Coming. We call this “street to kitchen” because we feel that the church’s behavior in the public commons is as significant as its behavior with those who have entered its doors. So the metaphorical progression is Street -> Foyer -> Living Room -> Kitchen Table.

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. This is after a long hiatus of posting. Last post was on the Crowd to Core model. Next week I will post a section titled No Premature Real Estate.]

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,