Carey Long, Pastor, Northside Baptist Church, Slidell LA
Q: What are some practical ways we can help change our church’s reputation/image in the community?
This is a complicated and layered question.
A bad reputation is not built, nor is it fixed overnight.
Discover/Ask: what has our church done that has created a bad reputation in the community?
A way to learn what the community thinks of your church: FourFold Panoramic Assessment by Keelan Cook
Ask the community: “If our church was to be an asset to this community what could we do?”
Consider your church’s history: repent and make reconciliation where possible.
Own and repent of past sins.
Process with your people the findings of your community assessments about your church’s reputation.
A name change is not a strategy to jettison your church’s bad reputation.
Keeping the name is at times, a more powerful picture of the Gospel and the power of forgiveness and redemption Jesus brings to us and the church.
Salvation doesn’t erase our past, it changes it.
Changing a church’s reputation involves changing the church’s culture.
The Pastor’s leadership is key in helping to change the church’s reputation.
Pastoral involvement in the community along with some church members is key. As your people engage in the community people get a new image and experience with your church.
Utilize your church’s facilities to bless the community.
Changing the image or reputation of your church takes a long time.
At times, you may need to help correct mis-information about your church in the community proactively.
Let God be your defender, it’s His church.
You will rarely win over the critics who will not engage with you. You can win over the folks who will interact with you as you patiently help them see what God is doing in your church.
Seek the welfare of the community: Jeremiah 29:7
Engage your community with no-strings attached.