We're putting the work in, but is anyone noticing?
You can check out part 1 of this post right here!
By the time that we sponsored the Family Movie Night at the Roxy Theatre, we were right in the middle of our renovations at the church. Things were starting to come together, but there were some people who just couldn't envision what the finished product would look like. There were a lot of tours through the building with people looking sideways at each other as we pitched what could be in this space.
You could tell that there were a lot of skeptics in these tours... because, lets face it, the building wasn't too much to look at before and the mess we were making wasn't helping the whole situation.
I was doing everything I could to get people through the doors of the church. My thought was that if people who were curious at a distance as to what was happening in this space could walk through the doors, it would warm them up to coming through the doors when we begin hosting services.
During this time, our church was also continuing our weeks of prayer that would happen roughly every-other-month. We've experimented with different prayer nights and have done everything from 24 hour to 24/7 prayer weeks to a full 24/7/4 prayer month. This time, we were having dedicated prayer evenings to major areas happening in our church... PAC Neepawa being a very push for our church.
So we began to have prayer evenings around the church. These nights were attended by our small congregation in Neepawa that were meeting in my house each week as well as a lot of really caring people from Portage who God was really giving them a heart for a town 100km away.
We put up static cling white boards around the building and broke up into groups to pray through different areas of the church. These nights were really awesome and full of hope, optimism and excitement about what will happen through this building.
It was during these times where we believe that God had given us some specific things to pray about for our church, but for the most part, we were praying for things in a vacuum; we really had no idea what things were going to be like.
So if someone had to connect with me and meet me somewhere, I would always suggest the church building and then insist that they had a peek at what was happening.
Because of the unique dynamic that we were facing:
We had them come in and have a look around the building and tried to keep them abreast with the progress that we were making. You have a peek at the stories that they ran here:
PAC Neepawa Donates to the Roxy
PAC Settling into new home in Neepawa
PAC Neepawa Looking Ahead to its Grand Opening
PAC Neepawa Opens Its Doors
We also ran a Facebook Ad campaign that definitely generated traffic and conversation on-and-offline. The promoted video was of me driving down the main street of the town trying to answer the question, "Why would Neepawa [or anywhere else] need another church?" Have a look
This video had a variety of responses:
"Well at least God was mentioned once. Christ = zero. I like a Christ-centred church."
"i liked what he had to say about the curious, church is not a socal club that just meets once a week on a sunday."
"That's illegal to be driving and filming yourself ain't it? Hope cops don't see this n give you a fine"
and my favourite: "Just a thought, next time you make a video don't do it while driving down our towns Main Street compromising the safety of the people in our community!"
If I wanted to get people talking... I at least succeeded in doing that. But the big questioned remained: would any of this publicity actually translate into people showing up when we opened our doors???
I am a pastor in rural Manitoba that is passionate about the church, leadership, coffee and bicycles.