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    We've been doing this blog for a while now, and we'd love to hear from you.

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    No Cost or Low Cost Promotion Part 3

    When people arrive to your Celebrate Recovery communicate with enthusiasm. There are people coming to your ministry that are forming a first impression even before they arrive. When they walk through the doors what will they experience. One of the first things they will notice are people smiling and greeting them with a warm, "We are glad you are here!" Train your greeters to smile and be excited about what God is about ready to do in a person's life. If the people on the front lines are not excited about the night your newcomers will sense that. One of our greeters here at our CR loves what he does. He gets a chance to meet people when they first walk in and help them get connected. He looks forward to seeing people come back each week.

    Have volunteers that are well informed about the ministry and can provide direction for those coming. Have your information table visible and staffed with people that can answer questions.

    Being involved in church life on every level is also important. Your CR ministry needs to function and be part all the activities. This communicates to the church that we are part of rather than apart from.

    Reach out to your church family through the church bulletin or newsletter. Talk to your pastor about upfront announcements and testimonies. These are great ways to help people in the congregation to understand what happens at CR. One idea is to put a description of the different groups that you offer to help people connect their struggle to the ministry. Try to use behavioral description, I have found that many people don't understand the labels that we use to describe the groups but they do understand the behavior associated.

    As an assimilation coach, I can help by providing these resources to the church and be a point of connection to help facilitate these ways of promoting CR.


    No Cost or Low Cost Promotion Part 2

    The next part of promoting your ministry is to think about how to effectively communicate information about your ministry. If people in your ministry cannot easily and clearly communicate what happens at Celebrate Recovery there is a breakdown in the message you want people to know.

    One way to let people know about your ministry is to use a Celebrate Recovery calendar with a list of the events and groups that are going on in a particular month. Many ministries have been able to utilize community calendars or websites from radio stations. Most of these are free to your organization and just need to be updated.

    Newspapers are another place for community service ads in a directory. Connect with someone at the newspaper and write news releases. I have seen many articles written about Celebrate Recovery and help them tell the story of your ministry.

    Begin to utilize the new forms of communication available by developing and using a database for contacting individuals when events come up in your ministry like starting a new group or to promote a special event through email or podcasting.

    Use your email footers to reply to everyone that sends you an email and this is another way to get the message out. All of these ideas are available for you as the Assimilation Coach to begin to promote your ministry and the good news is they are free.


    No Cost or Low Cost Promotion Part 1

    Over the next six weeks, I will be posting some ideas for promoting your Celebrate Recovery ministry. Some will be no cost and others may require an investment in the ministry.

    The first is to Develop a Promotional Plan. This will help you begin to target certain ways to reach people. Start with your print media. Such as: brochures, bulletin, bulletin inserts, business cards, CR shirts and signs or banners. The Visual Kit 2 is indispensable for creating these items and the art work included will give you a consistent look for all your printed materials. If you are in a church that has a media department use their services. If not, much of this work can be done through programs like Microsoft Publisher and Photo Shop or Illustrator for Mac. These programs are reasonably easy to use and will produce great products. If graphic design is not your fortes, you may want to consider contracting an outside source. There are likely people in your church that do this kind of work and may give you a reduced rate. There will be a cost to this, but do not under estimate the non verbal communication of your ministry.

    The church will also be using advertising as part of their plan to reach people. See if you can utilize the church advertising plan and how CR can be an outreach for the church. Alignment with the church is so important to the growth of the ministry.

    As I mention before, using the Celebrate Recovery logo and images will give your ministry a consistent look. There has been a tremendous amount of time, development, and financial resources devoted to the Visual Kit 2 to bring to the local ministry at a low cost. As an assimilation coach this is a great tool for you to develop branding for the ministry.

    Some CR groups have created items like hats, mugs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and so on to sell to the participants in their local ministry. Most of these items are a way to get the word out about the ministry.

    As you think about your promotional plan and the ways you want to bring your ministry to the next level, think about all your communications to the people in the ministry, church and the community. Think about each piece of literature, brochure, specialty item and what they say about the core values of CR at your church. I would encourage you to include on all of these items your church's name. It is important for your ministry to have a strong connection to your local church.


    The Invitation

    One of the most effective ways to connect people with your ministry is through relationship as I mentioned last time. More than any other means, relationship will be the best way to bring people to the ministry. I think we would all agree that everyone knows someone that could benefit from being in Celebrate Recovery. Many time people just do not know that it is there or think it is just for "those people." You and your attendees may be the only exposure that someone ever has to the ministry. Each one of us has multiple relationships and the opportunity to influence those relationships. I cannot think of a better way than to help someone better their life. Most of us have heard the this passage from Romans 10, That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

    But if you continue to read a little further down, we are all called to be the one to invite people to come to the One who can change lives. But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

    This is where you as the Assimilation Coach have the opportunity to increase your capacity 100 fold by recruiting every person in your ministry to be the voice of CR. Create a small invitation card (business card) that people can put in their wallet or purse that has all the information for your meeting. Brief description, time, day, location, childcare and so on, then when people are interacting with their friends, family, and co-workers they can share a little of their own story and give them an invitation to CR. Watch your ministry grow.