Apostle Guillermo Maldonado and his wife Ana began meeting with a small group in the living room of their home in June 1996. The foundation of El Rey Jesus (ERJ, which translated is King Jesus Ministries) started with those 12 people. God had already planted in his heart the vision of multitude and nations. It was there that the first wheel of growth for this vision started to turn. What started as such a small congregation, has become one of the largest megachurches in the U.S., the anchor for a worldwide network of churches, and a source of hope and help for Miami’s residents & community.
FrontGate was blessed with the opportunity to completely redesign the church’s annual supplies giveaway for Back To School. While the church had served 750 families with the previous year’s program, their desire for the current year was to reach 1,000. We envisioned far more than that for this megachurch… By redesigning this program from scratch, we helped ERJ achieve numbers that were beyond their expectations, hitting 1600% of the previous year’s reach and skyrocketing their impact from 750 families to 12,000 Miami families!
How did we do it, you ask? Here’s how!
We worked closely with the church and their small groups, known within the ministry as Houses of Peace or HOP groups, and began by redefining their goal from school supplies distribution to community outreach.
The previous strategy had been to publicize that families could come to the church campus to pick up school supplies. One of the problems facing the church was overcrowding. Their growth has outpaced their facilities, so drawing even more people to the already crowded church campus wasn’t going to be effective, so we moved the distribution to the HOP groups. We also suggested they move from the limited availability, high-cost, key donor provided backpacks to boxes which we named HOP Boxes, providing a more cost-effective outreach tool. Each box included a HOP sticker for the small group to add their contact info, a personal ‘HOP’ invite for the family, and of course school supplies supplied by the small group members. Our team also broadened the outreaches coverage within the community by decentralizing the distribution location from the church campus to their 2,500 HOP groups spread across the Miami region, for the first time allowing these active church members to be blessed by directly serving the local families around them.
PR/Social Media Push:
With the change in strategy, we were assured of creating major personal impact for a vast number of Miami families, but we didn’t stop there. We provided a major PR push by enlisting co-agency Spot Mill’s Miami relationships to secure local market expert Gloria Garces for PR help. As a result, El Rey Jesus was featured on most of Miami’s local television morning shows creating tremendous goodwill for their service to the Miami community. Our team secured local school board members and political leadership figures along with social media efforts coining the hashtag #HOPmiami to spread awareness and create excitement for church members during the outreach campaign.
Our efforts in expanding community outreach brought forth some incredible numbers along with a lasting impression of El Rey Jesus and their heart for their community. The key accomplishments within this campaign would be:
- Engaged 10,000 small group members
- Funneled community to HOP small groups instead of the “at capacity” ERJ church campus
- Fulfilled church goal to be leaders in serving their community
- 16x or 1600% increase in reach from 750 families in previous year to 12,000 families
- Secured major media coverage
- Social Media push to drive the community to the HOP group’s local areas