Increasing footfall in any church is vital to its success, especially when such a large open space is left redundant after church services.
The simple fact is, your church can be a hub for community events, supporting many individuals and groups and building the awareness of the church itself.
With this in mind, we’ve shared how you can encourage your local community to utilise the church space more often and ensure a once lonely space is a buzz of activity throughout the seasons.
Create Unique Events
Establishing unique events in the community is a great way to appeal to a wide audience and make people realise the potential of the church space.
We’ve shared a few ideas previously about the five potential types of events you could host in your church to appeal to the wider community, but don’t forget to do your research and think of things that may attract groups of people.
Some ideas we’ve seen include an art night, where local artists can use the space as a live studio, or even a history talk about the church and the local area.
There are many inspiring event ideas that you can host within the walls of the church.
Outreach to Other Social Groups
While it can be fun to create your own events, it can also be a time-consuming task for a small church team, therefore finding other social groups who are seeking a space is ideal to get people using the space without having to do the hard work of event management.
Meetup.com and Eventbrite are the ideal places to find local gatherings. By outreaching to the organisers that the church is available for their gatherings, you can begin to get more people using the church space without you needing to manage it.
Many of these events have a large following which is a wonderful way to attract a variety of people to space.
Make Your Space Flexible
There’s a common misconception that church spaces are quite formal and rigid, so it’s essential you show the flexibility of the space at the church and how it can meet different users needs.
For example with Grosvenor’s church stacking chairs, you can move the chairs around and lay them out in different ways to suit different events. You can place them around circular tables, have the dotted around the room, or even have them in a pew style.
By revealing the flexibility of your church space you can appeal to far more events and gatherings.
Many people may be aware of the church’s existence, but they may not be aware that the church has the capability to do events and gatherings. Therefore it’s a good idea to share as many event types as possible on social media.
Posting pictures and videos across your social media platforms of the different events that go on can provide people with an idea of the types of events that the church can cater too, and inspire other groups to get in touch to use the space.
Make it Community Led
It can be beneficial to create events that you feel would be unique to the church, but you can gain extra edge and interest from your community by getting them to make suggestions about what could be done with the space or the events that could be held.
Requesting feedback, and getting your community involved in creating an event that they actually feel would be beneficial to the community can ensure the space gets used in the best way to support people in the local area.
Many other churches have started community-led projects such as, bring and repair nights, where people can bring along items to help each other repair them, or even a community bring and share, where local homegrown produce can be swapped.
Put out the suggestion on social media or go to your local newspaper to find out what people truly need help within the local community.
Improve Access & Facilities
A key factor in ensuring people feel comfortable using the church space is if the church facilities and access are up to date.
This not only enables you to support those with any disabilities but also ensures that the church is a comfortable space for everyone to use.
Before you begin to promote your church space for wider communal use, ensure to check the parking, access, and facilities. For example, ensuring the toilets are well maintained, and there is a well-equipped kitchen for any possible catering.