Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Rules of Engagement

Our new church is busy trying to get the word out about our church. We've divided our area of local ministry into six zones and assigned teams to distribute the brochures to each home in their assigned zone. Our method of distribution has been to staple a rubber band on each brochure and hang the brochure on each home's mailbox. In apartment complexes, we're hanging the brochures on the front door of each apartment.

For the most part, we've not received many complaints. One person even emailed us to thank us for distributing the brochures to communicate the Lord Jesus. However, two apartment complexes have called and complained about "solicitation" and asked us to come back and retrieve the brochures. Since we view the distribution of the brochures as "sowing seeds," we declined to retrieve the brochures we have already distributed.

I had a talk with our local postmaster and he said that we cannot put brochures in a mailbox or on a mailbox. Violation is a federal offense. With that tidbit of information, we're no longer putting brochures on mailboxes.

So what are we to do? Well, we're going to continue distributing our brochures by placing them on the doorknobs of each homes' front door. If a sign is displayed that says "no trespassing" or "no soliciting," then we're going to skip that house. The only other alternative I' aware of is to do direct mail from someone like

Anyone have any other ideas?


Ryan Abernathy said...

It's bad form to leave the brochures on apartment doors. "sowing seeds" is good but angering the people you are trying to minister to is not. Most complexes ask churches not to hang things on doors b/c they become a litter issue especially on unoccupied units. Instead, ask for permission to put your info in common areas like weight rooms, mailrooms, and the front office. I bet if your request is accompanied with a plate of cookies or a gift card to a local restaurant you'll find yourself a new friend and an agreeable partner in promoting your church.

How do I know this? Planted a church almost 7 years ago and learned all this stuff the hard way. Godspeed brother!

Les Puryear said...


Excellent point. Thanks for the advice.


Tim Rogers said...


One thing you can do is place your brochures in the "paper box" that, in most neighborhoods, is located just under the mail box. I know I get lots of info from businesses and church plants in mine.

Praying for your church.


Les Puryear said...


Thanks for the advice. We'll do that.


Anonymous said...

Or you could actually talk to people...