On Sunday morning people need time to settle in and get prepared for worship. It’s Sunday-morning settle-down hour: Your congregants trickle in, check out the bulletin, mentally plan their afternoon and finally focus on the service.
Then it takes a prayer, a song and half the message for them to get their hearts in a receptive place. By the time they’re truly ready, the service is over.
A weekly, congregation-wide e-mail offers an opportunity to connect with your church members and help them prepare for the worship service before they get there.
There are two ways to tackle this:
1. Send a weekly heart-preparing devotional.
Introduce Sunday’s sermon topic. Suggest a related passage to read and ask a few thought-provoking questions, like this e-mail from the pastor of Landsdowne Baptist Church.
If recipients have time, they can read up and meditate on the subject, and if not, they can at least keep it in mind. Then on Sunday, they’ll be able to slip into that prepared mindset.
2. Use the weekly e-mail for announcements.
Tackle your house-keeping duties in the weekly e-mail. Then not only can you skip the distraction of announcements during worship time, but no one will be studying the bulletin instead of perusing Philippians, or planning their dish for the potluck during the opening hymn.
For example, the pastor of Storehouse Church uses weekly e-mails to make announcements, leaving the church free to skip traditional bulletins and focus on the message.
Here’s How to Get Started
These are just two examples of intentionally using e-mail to enhance the worship service experience. Here are some tips for how to make it happen:
- First, make sure you get permission to e-mail everyone you want to send to. You may already have e-mail addresses for some of your congregants, but it’s important that they agree to get these weekly e-mails before you start sending them, or you may irritate or alienate them.
- Then, set a plan. What day of week and time of day is best? You’ll need your Sunday service planned out before you send. You’ll also need to provide a substantial enough window for recipients to check their e-mail before Sunday.
- Finally, stay consistent. Set a publishing calendar with alerts. If several people are involved, make sure everyone plans to do their part by the same time each week.
With dependable broadcasts, you’ll create an experience that your congregants will come to rely on. You’ll develop their trust by being consistent. As an added bonus, when people know what’s in store for the service and have already invested effort in preparing, they’re more likely to come in. You’ll raise attendance (which can also raise the offering) and raise Sunday-morning attention at the same time.
For more information on using e-mail to attract new members and build relationships with the ones you have, download the free E-mail Marketing Guide for Churches from the e-mail marketing company AWeber.