Leading a business is a tough challenge for most of us. Leading a church however is an entirely different endeavor that many of us could not even start to imagine. But Anthony Delgado of Sonrise Church in East Palmdale, Calif. is more than up to the challenge.
Taking the reins of a community church that started over a decade ago, Anthony began building the church early in 2016 with the plan to assimilate members into the ministry as a community, each with a unique role to fulfill.
We talked to Anthony about his experience leading Sonrise Church. Here are his thoughts on the challenges their church faced as well as how their church flyers helped bring the members together.
1. How did Sonrise Church come about?
Sonrise Church is a community church that started about 12 years ago. They were started by some faithful members of another local church that started suffering from infrastructure problems and eventually had to close their doors. From the beginning Sonrise has been about glorifying God in worship and reaching out to the community in various ways.
2. What programs and services do you offer to the East Palmdale community?
‘Offer’ isn’t the right word for what we do. Our church seeks to assimilate our members into the ministry as a community. That means everyone has a part. Everyone has a role to play. When we come together to worship on Sunday mornings, we emphasize that every individual is an important part of that process, whether they are a vocalist on stage, a guitar player, the sound guy, or the person who is attending and sings from their seat. Everyone comes together as the community of God’s people to worship.
This mentality extends to every other area of the ministry. We have Life Groups (Small Groups) that meet in homes during the week. They are like small subsections of the church that gather to share their thoughts about scripture and their life experiences with each other. Our kids ministry meets with the adults once a month to give kids an opportunity to serve in the church services in significant ways (in the band, tech crews, ushers, etc.). And our outreach teams are filled with people of all kinds.
3. What are some of the challenges that you had to face?
I’m actually pretty new to the church, as of February 2016. When I started, we didn’t even have a sign in the front of the church. No one in the community knew we existed. So, I’ve utilized NextDayFlyers and many products from discount mugs and a local t-shirt manufacturer just to get our logo and name out in the community. We’ve successfully reached many people who had been looking for a church to belong to through these means.
But, we still have a long way to go. We want to serve people who don’t already consider themselves Christian. We think they also need the close community that our church offers. We have started doing events like community meals in the parks and handing out reusable grocery bags to bless the members of our community who otherwise could care less that we exist. But, like I said, we still have a ways to go.
4. How do you feel about the current activities of Sonrise?
I think we can do more. We are praying for gifted leaders who can mobilize our people to get more involved in the community. We are open to anything that God calls us to and pray for humble hearts as he leads us in new directions. As of right now, I would not say that our current activities are accomplishing our goals. I do, however, feel that we are doing what we can with the resources that we have and I sense that God is pleased with our efforts.
5. Marketing is as important to churches as it is to for-profit businesses. How would you describe Sonrise Church’s marketing efforts?
Our marketing might be slightly oversized for our church, but I think it’s important to market well so I’m OK with it. The flyers we get printed from NextDayFlyers are excellent and therefore an appropriate representation of our church’s desire to serve God and our community with excellence.
6. How did our flyers fit into Sonrise Church’s operation?
We’ve used your flyers in a lot of different ways. Two weeks before Easter we did a community meal. We cooked hotdogs at a local park and packed lunch bags with chips, condiments, a fruit snack and napkins and stuff. And we added an Easter flyer. We also designed them to be used as mailers and mailed about 500 out to our community contacts list. And then our church members handed out close to another 1000 to their friends, family, and neighbors.
We are duplicating this effort right now. We just ordered 2000 flyers for our VBS (Vacation Bible School), which is a like a summer day camp for local kids. We’re doing the park outreach and the mailers again. And we are also handing them out on the last day of school.
7. What kind of information did you include in your church flyer?
I tried to keep it simple. Critical information like address and website, time, location, etc. Then we encouraged our people to visit the website for more information and to register for events. Our website is as excellently designed as the flyers and furthers the connection the people have with our church before they even attend for the first time.
8. How effective are the flyers that you used for the church? What was the feedback from the congregation?
Our congregation thinks they are sharp, but the general consensus is that we should just do a cheap flyer from the copy machine. That’s actually pretty funny, because it costs us almost the same amount to do a color copy on a slip of paper as it does to order from NextDayFlyers. Sooooo…. they are usually very pleased to know that we are getting great marketing pieces at a competitive price.
We have also gotten great response from the community. You’re lucky to get a 3% engagement on marketing efforts. I haven’t taken the time to try to crunch numbers, but I feel the engagement level when I hand someone a flyer is pretty high. I also feel that the likelihood of attending an event is higher when our flyers look nice. I’ve also found large (half-sheet) or unusual size (long and skinny) flyers to be more engaging so we have moved up to some other formats from the traditional post card size.
9. What was your experience with NextDayFlyers? Would you recommend using NextDayFlyers to other churches and nonprofits?
Absolutely, and I frequently do when other pastor friends are creating flyers. We have a couple local print companies that people use and they can be literally double what NextDayFlyers charges and take twice as long for delivery.
10. What are your future marketing plans for Sonrise?
One of these days—when the timing is right, like when we get a new building or something—we will do a community wide mass mailer and I hope to use NextDayFlyers for that. Until then we will continue to print flyers through NextDayFlyers for all of our community events like VBS, Easter, Christmas, and so on.
To learn more about Anthony and the Sonrise Church in East Palmdale, California, visit the Sonrise Church website. To bring people together like Anthony did with his church members, check out our flyer printing page to start your campaign.